Once we were on the ground on a mission trip, so many remarkable encounters, extraordinary activities and meaningful moments fly by at such speed that it is hard to capture and process the experience. Now, as we are returning home to our normal routines, we will begin to find time to reflect and process our nine-day opportunity in Antigua, Guatemala. It will take time for all of this to settle in, but we are beginning to understand the significance of the experience, and we know that we have been forever changed. This has to be true, as many of those on this mission, are “veterans,” having made this trip numerous times before. And, not only have they made this trip before, they have stepped up and taken on specific leadership roles.
We want everyone on the mission trip to know how much you are appreciated for all your work, but it is important that we take a moment to thank all our coordinators and leaders of our trip. First, Deborah Nicklaus, who has been working to get the entire Antigua mission trip organized. Her sister, Dr. Pam Nicklaus and Sylvia Fendler, RN and Dr. Eric Weissend have worked to organized the medical/surgical staff necessary to make our mission a success. Preparation for Audiology was directed by Dr. Casey Redding. Pharmacist, Dr. Jessica Humphrey works together with all of these leaders to make sure all need medicines are available. These individuals start months before our trip to ensure that there was a plan in place for success. And they not only worked a great deal before the trip, they also worked daily while in Guatemala. They were also joined by others, Dr. Eric Weissend and Terry Chafee, who coordinate the Anesthesia team, Dr. Steve Simpson, who led the Post-Op Care team, Dr. Scott Montgomery who leads our Urology efforts plus Ear, Nose, and Throat was managed by Dr. Richard Wemer, and Nadine Bennetts, coordinated the Ambassadors/Art Team. Andrew Simpson, Pam’s son and Deb’s nephew was also an awesome assistant, helping wherever the need. Last, but not least, our data/records team from Cerner, MariBeth Hageman, Fred Eckertson, and Krista Robke.
We take this moment to once again thank all the “team members” who volunteered when asked to participate. You gave of your time and made other sacrifices to be a part of the Medical Mission Foundation’s mission trip to Antigua. You willingly stepped-up no matter the request, and you touched countless lives in so many positive ways.
BY THE NUMBERS (Preliminary)
132 ENT and Urology Clinic patients
185 Audiology Clinic patients
140 Hearing Aids provided (with kits containing batteries for 1 year. Thanks, Casey!)
106 ENT and Urology surgeries
5 Medical Students
5 Audiology Students
1 Student Registered Nurse Anesthetist
59 Mission Team Members Total
1 Earthquake (6.8 Richter scale)