Reflections from My First Trip – Mexico 2019

Sharalee Walton, RN ~ CSI Volunteer

My trip to Hermosillo, Mexico with CSI was actually the first medical mission trip I had the pleasure of going on.  It had been a desire of mine for several years, but the right opportunity had not presented itself until recently. Like many medical professionals I went into my field because I wanted to help people in need.  Growing up, my favorite toy was my Fisher Price medical play kit. As a result, my dolls and Cabbage Patch Kids were in the best of health. Some of them even had check ups daily. 

Blowing bubbles to pass the time.

I have an interest in working with children with special health care needs, especially in the area of ear nose and throat surgery and oral surgery.  So this trip seemed like the perfect fit.

With St. Andrews Children’s Clinic founder, Coca Romero

As excited as I was to go on my first trip, I also had some anxiety. I had never practiced nursing outside of the U.S. and my high school Spanish was rust, to say the least.  When we landed in Hermosillo we were greeted like royalty. There were parents and children, volunteers from CIMA, and St. Andrews Clinic. There was a festive reception in the hospital lobby, complete with balloons, cupcakes and Star Wars storm troopers. One five year old girl, a former patient, sang Louis Armstrong’s What a Wonderful World. There was not a dry eye in the room!   

Welcome ceremony hosted by Voluntariados CIMA

During this trip I had the privilege of serving in the recovery room. I witnessed parents and grandparents see their child for the first time after the surgery – tears of happiness,  expressions of joy, beaming with pride in seeing the lip or palate defect fixed. These experiences and connections with our patients and families are something I will never forget. 

My colleagues and I assisted 55 kiddos after surgery. I had the time of my life, and I can’t wait to go again.

See more photos from Mexico here.