Local nurse taking part in medical mission to Haiti

Kitchissippi’s Dale Lockhart is part of a team travelling to Haiti in January. Photo by Jack Lawson.

As part of a medical mission organized by Broken Earth, 30 physicians, registered nurses, and surgeons will head to Port-au-Prince, Haiti on Jan. 10, 2015 to offer their services, including Dale Lockhart, a registered nurse from Kitchissippi.

“We’re headed there to triage those who need care most urgently,” says Lockhart. “I’m looking forward to the opportunity to provide medical care to people who are in dire straits right now.”

Broken Earth was founded in the aftermath of the 2010 Haitian earthquake to help provide relief to those on the ground. In the following years Broken Earth has launched 22 missions to Haiti. Teams have come from Newfoundland and Labrador, British Columbia, Nova Scotia, and Alberta. Part of the goal for these missions is to help the Haitian health care system recover after the 2010 earthquake.

Lockhart’s mission in 2015 will mark the first Broken Earth team assembled from Ontario medical professionals.

Each of the 30 Ottawans on the trip need to raise $2,500 to pay for travel expenses and medical supplies for medical staff on the ground. As part of this process Lockhart is planning a fundraiser at the Elmdale Oyster House.

On Saturday Dec. 6, the cover charge at the Elmdale after 10:30 p.m. will help fund Lockhart’s part of the trip. Any donations that exceed the $2,500 single component will go to the rest of the team. The total cost for all 30 medical professionals will amount to $75,000.

Once in Haiti, Lockhart and the other doctors, nurses, and surgeons will act in concert with local medical staff to provide care to those in need. Lockhart, as one of the 13 registered nurses on the trip, will help patients during both pre- and post-surgery.

“We’re also going to provide education for people there because there isn’t that same system for staff,” says Lockhart.

But the mission’s benefits don’t just end with bringing experienced personnel into surgical chambers, waiting rooms, and triage units.

“We’ll be bringing supplies which are severely lacking there,” says Lockhart.

In high school, Lockhart planned on becoming a vet. As university began to loom closer, she re-evaluated her career options and decided she wanted to be a registered nurse.

“I quickly realized that becoming a registered nurse had everything I wanted to pursue,” says Lockhart. “It encompasses both medicine and the human side as well.”

Lockhart, who hasn’t been on any missions like this one before, is enthusiastic about the chance to do some good. This is tempered by the knowledge that the Ottawa team will be in a very intense environment for their stay in Haiti.

“I don’t really know what to expect. All I know is that I’m going to have to apply my skills in a wide variety of situations,” says Lockhart. “But I think the hardest thing for me, and for everyone else, is that we won’t be able to save everyone [we treat].”

The team will be leaving Ottawa on Jan.10, and returning on Jan. 17.

For more information about Broken Earth, go to brokenearth.ca.



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