Truck Service Sponsors Student on a Medical Support Trip to Ecuador
This past May (2019), Truck Service sponsored Lauren Davis, an accelerated nursing student at the University of Indianapolis, on a medical support trip to Ecuador. Davis, along with 11 other nursing students, traveled abroad to help those less fortunate.
The group of 12 nursing students joined other health care providers such as doctors, registered nurses, community health nurses, and pharmacists. Their purpose, travel to various rural villages throughout the mountains of Ecuador to provide medical aid, education, and health services. Over a ten-day period, they went to five separate villages where they set up clinics to help these communities in need.
Due to their remote/rural locations, the people in these villages have medical conditions that go undiagnosed and untreated. Most of these populations lack the ability to be transported to the nearest city hospital and even if they had transportation, most if not all, lack the income to pay for the desperately needed assistance and treatments. Unfortunately, this leads to many of the inhabitants being forced to live with an illness or to die from diseases and other medical conditions that could otherwise be easily treated and prevented.
When asked what her favorite experience during the trip, Davis stated “I have never had the chance to participate in a trip like this, but I have always known it was something I wanted to do. Narrowing down a specific experience or set of experiences as my favorite is just impossible. I would have to say it was the people I had the chance to help. I wish I could show you their faces when we opened the clinics. Everyone was always so happy and excited. Even the people who were truly sick and not feeling well always had a smile on their face. It really helped me to realize the impact we had on these individual’s lives.”
She added “There truly is no better feeling than helping individuals who need it and genuinely appreciate the help they receive. There were crowds of children who would walk us down to the clinics every day and basically follow us around non-stop. I was so adorable and made all of us feel so appreciated.”
When asked about what she learned about herself and the villages she served, Davis stated, “The greatest thing I learned about myself while on this trip was that this type of work is what I am on this planet to perform. It is very special to be able to go into my career as a nurse knowing that this is the exact path I am meant to be on. Not many people are lucky enough to have their life life’s purpose confirmed, but I was. This experience helped to not only reassure the path I am on, but also allowed me to practice and critique my clinical nursing skills. I believe I will be a better nurse for going on this trip.”
Davis continued, “The greatest thing I learned about the villages that I visited was the work ethic of the individuals I had the pleasure to serve. The big cities I saw were not much different from our own cities here in the United States. They were big, bustling with traffic and people, and nothing like the small villages of the Andes Mountains. In these villages, individuals work well into their eighties and nineties. Elderly individuals would come in with joint complaint and our first question would be, ‘Do you still work?’ Every time the answer was ’of course.’”
Truck Service was a contributing sponsor to Davis’ round trip airfare to Ecuador, her meals, transportation, accommodations, and supplies. More importantly, it was an honor to help her fulfill a life-long dream to travel abroad and serve those in need.