On Wednesday night, April 28, people from around the country joined us to listen in and hear a little bit more about what deployments are like for Heart to Heart International disaster response volunteers. Three of our most experienced volunteers were generous enough to spend their time talking about their experiences and giving us a peek behind the scenes.
The volunteers were Kay Martin, RN, Roger Harper, RN, and Bob Gwinn, MD. Their deployments varied from Haiti after the earthquake, Hurricane Dorian in 2019,and even an upcoming deployment to Papua New Guinea to help with the COVID-19 outbreak there.
Bob Gwinn recounted what it was like to hear about the experiences of people who had gone through tremendous ordeals. “Listening to someone describe dodging 200mph coconuts,” Bob said, “It gave me a whole new perspective on life.”
Kay Martin talked about seeing patients on a porch in the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian and the story of one woman who had wrapped the nail puncture wound on her foot with a dirty rag soaked in gasoline after pouring salt on the wound. “You have to be accepting and non-judgmental,” Kay said. “[People] are so wanting help and medical care, but they do with the best they can and things work out.”
When Roger Harper was asked what most stays with him after deployments, he said “the biggest take-away for me is the smiles of little kids. They are very grateful, just having you being present.”
Watch the entire discussion below and if you are interested in becoming a volunteer, check out our volunteer opportunities page!