Emily Sumner on medical mission trip to Ecuador

by   |  07.14.11  |  Honors Student Achievements

This morning we got up, packed, and headed for the bus that would take us to Borbone where we would catch the canoes. We rode 3 hours on the canoes through the beautiful jungle. When we arrived at Kumanii we had to carry tons of heavy bags and boxes up about 100 stairs. We were all so hot and sweaty when we were done, but it was time to open a clinic for the surrounding villages. I worked triage, which entailed registering patients, finding out what their chief complaint was, and checking vital signs. It shocked me to see how many teenagers were already mothers several times over. Everyone got their eyes checked and got medicine for their physical ailments. Then they went to the charla where they sang church songs and heard about God. We worked until dark and saw about 100 patients! That night we had a wonderful dinner and got ready for bed in our bamboo floored and thatched roof cabins. I slept on the top bunk in my room and had to plug holes in the mosquito net with toilet paper. That night I was so tired, I slept really well.

This morning we got up bright and early for a devotional and breakfast. We then sorted everything needed for the clinic and loaded up the canoes. One of the ladies that was assigned to work in the pharmacy got sick so I was moved to the pharmacy. I spent the day filling orders and counting pills for the pharmacist to approve. I did not get to see the people today because of the set up, but I spent a lot of time becoming familiar with the different meds and their uses. When everyone in the village had been helped to our best ability, we packed everything up and headed back to camp by canoe. We relaxed and talked until dinner. Then we sang together and discussed the plan for tomorrow. Some of us stayed talking for awhile and one of our ladies ended up getting dehydrated. Katy, our ER Nurse, was thankfully still up and administered two bags of iv fluids to her. I was able to assist Katy by holding lights and things. It was neat to get to help After the lady was stable we all went to bed, but about 30 seconds after I walked in my cabin, I heard Katy screaming. I ran outside and saw Katy with half her right leg through the bamboo floor of the cabin porch. Her knee had gotten caught on the cross beam and her whole leg had gone numb. I also yelled for help and the men ripped the boards up and the doctor checked her leg. Thankfully, it was not broken, but it was badly cut and bruised. Poor Katy was on high powered pain killers for the rest of the trip! She was a trooper though and still worked incredibly hard. Tonight was certainly eventful which made it hard to sleep, but more days await!

Every day was full of hard work and helping out in any way that I could.  I fell in love with the children and my favorite part of the day was when I got to see them and spend time helping them. I did not want to leave Ecuador. I love everyone there and the work that is happening there is so amazing! So many people’s lives are being touched by the missionaries in Ecuador and it is an awesome and humbling thing to be a part of it all.  Thank you to everyone who supported me and prayed for this trip! God has truly blessed me with wonderful people who care about me and God’s work.