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August 20th, 2014 ~ Vol. 84 No. 32
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Crowsnest nurse on humanitarian mission to Guatemala
Crowsnest Pass Herald Front Page
Backpack Photo:Jenny Wilmot
Jenny Wilmot’s backpack ready to go to Guatemala. All the boxes are donated medical supplies thanks to Bellevue Clinic and Remedy'sRx.
EZRA BLACK
Pass Herald Reporter
In 2000, Crowsnest resident Jenny Wilmot was backpacking through Guatemala on a tour of Central America.
Fourteen years and three children later Wilmot is going back, to give back.
This week, Wilmot is in Guatemala City, Guatemala taking part in a medical mission with Healing the Children, an NGO that provides medical care to children all around the world.
Wilmot will help perform over 60 operations on children who have suffered burns or who were born with cleft pallets.
“These are all kids who would otherwise not get surgical care,” said Wilmot. “I couldn’t imagine being a parent whose kid needed medical care but you couldn’t afford it.”
“I think we’re so lucky in Canada, we get amazing healthcare [and] when you’re as lucky as we are it’s good to give back,” she added.
Wilmot has always wanted to participate in an international medical mission but other organizations such as Doctors Without Borders wanted a month-long time commitment; something the busy mother of three children was unable to commit to.
Healing the Children undertakes a week long annual mission to Guatemala. The mission was looking for an operation room nurse after another volunteer had dropped out and Wilmot agreed to participate.
She’ll be joining a medical team, which includes two plastic surgeons, helping patients as young as four months and as old as fifteen years.
The team needs to bring everything necessary to complete the procedures.
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“We bring everything with us because the hospital has nothing,” she explained.
After arriving Saturday and setting up on Sunday, the team will be performing surgeries for the rest of the week.
Cases deemed too serious for the team will be flown to the United States for additional medical care. Their travel and medical expenses will be provided for.
Data from the UN Office on Drugs and Crime shows that Guatemala is not the safest place in the world with a national average of 99.5 murders per week in 2012 but Wilmot says the whole team is being picked up at the airport and will stick together throughout the week.
She said she is excited to be going through customs carrying medical supplies such as syringes and needles and expects interesting remarks from customs officials.
Founded in 1979, Healing the Children has successfully helped over 240,000 children in over 95 countries.
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August 20th ~ Vol. 84 No. 32
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