Posted By Jo Burt, Volunteer on April 24, 2013

Labels: South Africa , Chronic Disease, Global Health Expertise, Volunteers

Jo Burt is a nurse from Payson, Utah with over 40 years of experience in surgery, intensive care, orthopedics and nursing administration.  She spent two months in early 2013 volunteering for the diabetes and hypertension program at the HOPE Centre in Zandspruit, South Africa with her sister Dottie Newsome, who is also a nurse.

It’s hard to believe that two months in South Africa have already ended.  The time went so fast, and I am sure it is because we were so busy all the time.  Being able to assist with the diabetes and hypertension project at the HOPE Centre was such a privilege.

Hearing the testimonials of patients at the HOPE Center has been so rewarding for me on this volunteer mission.  Here are some of their stories.

I saw a 22-year-old mother with four children under the age of five with very high blood pressure, and I was able to get her on medications that may save her life.

A 35-year-old man came to the clinic with very high blood sugar, and I was able to get him medicines and education to help manage his diabetes.

A 50-year-old woman named Yola suffered a stroke while alone at her home.  Community health workers from Project HOPE happened to be making a pre-clinic visit to this woman’s compound and found her with symptoms of stroke.  They were able to get emergency care for Yola, and she was referred to the HOPE Centre after her release from the hospital.

In a short period of time, this woman was walking on her own, had full recovery of the use of her arm and had near normal blood pressure with minimal medication.  she attributes her survival and recovery to the HOPE Centre clinic and truly believes she would not be alive had HOPE Centre not been in her community.

There have been numerous instances of this type, and they have made my time volunteering in South Africa very meaningful.

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