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Mission Trip to Panama City

Posted September 7, 2010
by Courtney Novello, Instructor

This summer I went on my fourth mission trip with Caribbean Heart Menders Association. The last three missions were to Dominican Republic, but this year we ventured out and went to Panama City, Panama. We did not know what we were getting into, but were very excited about our trip. We had been planning this trip since February 2010 and finally went on August 7, 2010. We had a group of twenty very talented nurses, doctors, surgeons and perfusionist.

This trip was very exciting for me because I was able to use my perfusion knowledge to teach pediatric techniques to the Panamanian perfusionists. All of this information stems from my education here at Barry University and my clinical work at Jackson Memorial Hospital. It was a lot of fun teaching them, as they were very eager to hear what I had to say. Our US team, along with the panama team, helped save the lives of 39 kids while we were there. Eleven kids were open heart surgeries and the other cases were done in the cath lab, such as interventional caths and electrophysiology studies.

It is really touching when you know you can use your trade for the greater good. To see those kids faces after surgery and talk to their parents was one of the best feelings ever. I know I helped save lives that week.

Oh oh ....

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