What was your favorite memory of this trip?
My personal favorite memory was a look of sheer joy on baby Mapallo's face when my daughter started to play with him. She latched onto the three “big boys” in the infant room, and they were instantly taken with her. Their faces lit up anytime they saw her, and she couldn’t get enough of them. But there was that one moment between Katie and Mapallo that I happened to witness, that defined for me why we were there.
What was the most difficult thing you experienced?
As a nurse and a mom, the most difficult thing for me was seeing a sick child. One baby was not there the first two days, then was there on the 3rd day we were there. She was the oldest in the room, and I was told that she was close to walking, but then became ill, and now wasn’t even crawling. I think she had been in the hospital the first two days. She was lethargic, and I never saw a smile or change of expression on her face. She looked so sad and hopeless. They were giving her “medicine”, but from what I could see, it was vitamins. It really bothered me to think that back home, we could offer her so much more. I wanted so much to scoop her up and just bring her straight to a hospital at home. It was hard to appreciate that minimal access to healthcare was the norm for them.