by Brad Chrisman
When Kim Wesdock travels to the Caribbean, she often struggles to keep her luggage under the 50-pound weight limit, but for a different reason than most tourists.
Wesdock, a Virginia-based pediatric physical therapist who has volunteered as a trainer on medical mission trips sponsored by the World Pediatric Project and Health Volunteers Overseas, stuffs her bag with medical textbooks – materials she will use in training sessions with her Caribbean counterparts. And medical textbooks, she notes, are “really heavy things.”
“That’s where Global HELP has been great,” Wesdock says. “We ordered DVDs for the therapists, so each of them went home with a Global HELP DVD. I also downloaded anything specific to pediatric rehabilitation, whether it was wound care, spina bifida, cerebral palsy, etc. I just downloaded them and put them all on a flash drive, so all of the course participants went home with a DVD and a flash drive. The Global HELP materials have been very helpful with that.”
Leading trainings in the Caribbean is a much different experience than in the United States, Wesdock says. “They don’t have a lot of the specialists that we have in the U.S. They don’t have a pediatric neurologist. They don’t have urologists for bowel and bladder issues.”
“They don’t have an orthotist. They don’t have a prosthetist. They don’t have anybody to make braces or splints or that type of thing. They don’t even have occupational therapists and speech therapists,” Wesdock says. “So when I go down there, we kind of have to wear the hat of all of these different medical professionals. So that’s another way that Global HELP really helps us when we go down there – to help us wear all these different hats.”
Wesdock believes in Global HELP’s mission to provide free and low-cost medical information to people in developing countries.
“One of my favorite sayings is, if you treat someone, you can help them for a day, but if you teach someone, you can help them for a lifetime. I’m grateful to Global HELP for helping me to achieve that goal.”
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