Syracuse nurse returns after volunteering in Sierra Leone
When you lack basic necessities like running water, healthcare isn't the top priority for those living in third world countries. A local nurse left her job in Syracuse to provide healthcare to people in Sierra Leone. Melissa Warner is back after three months. Our Iris St. Meran has more what she accomplished there and how this experience changed her.
To view our videos, you need to
install Adobe Flash 9 or above. Install now.
Then come back here and refresh the page.
CAZENOVIA, N.Y. -- Melissa Warner is spending part of her Sunday farming, but up until last week, this registered nurse was on a ship providing medical care in Sierra Leone.
Warner said, "The main heath care they offer is surgery. So there's eight operating rooms. There's a recovery room. I worked in the ward; I was specifically in a ward that had a lot of post-operative maxillofacial patients."
For three months, Warner volunteered her time with the organization Mercy Ships. She formerly worked as an Intensive Care Unit nurse in Syracuse. That training was put to good use providing free care to patients young and old.
"They're not able to offer health care, obviously like we do here," Warner said, "So you see a lot of things like you would never see in the United States like facial tumors and bowed leg and a lot of it is related to malnutrition as well."
Warner had to pay her own way to help those in a world away. She did this through fundraisers, but a price can't be put on service she provided to the patients and the lessons they taught her.
"They have a great sense of community and love for one another and especially the people have this incredible respect and I think sometimes we can be really caught up in ourselves in this country and this society and so there's so much to learn from them even though they don't have as much as we do," said Warner.
And she says she'd gladly do it again.
Since 1978 Mercy Ships has treated more than 520,000 patients in 53 developing nations.