Milton Keynes A&E nurse, Hannah Warren, returned from a two week volunteer journey to Haiti with the international charity, Mercy Ships.
After much consideration of which charity to volunteer with, Hannah Warren joined Mercy Ships to help victims of the earthquake. Mercy Ships is an international charity that provides free medical and humanitarian care to the world’s poorest people.
She explained: “I had originally applied to volunteer with Mercy Ships on the Africa Mercy after hearing about the incredible work they do. I was humbled after hearingabout volunteers giving up their time and offering free surgeries and medical care to extremely needy people on a 5000ft floating hospital ship.
“A spanner was thrown in the works when at the bottom of the form it stated that Mercy Ships was also looking for volunteers to help with the relief effort in Haiti and without too much thought I ticked the box that said I would be willing to volunteer in Haiti. I know one day I will certainly volunteer onboard the Africa Mercy.
“I arrived in Haiti after a 25 hour journey and was soon made aware of the destruction in the city of Port au Prince. There was devastation everywhere, beyond anything I had really imagined and there was no sign of construction work. At this point the emotions set in and I knew this would be just the beginning of an emotional journey.
“The following two weeks consisted of very little sleep, long shifts and truly heart breaking moment= but with every life saved and every patient smile, I knew we were making a difference. I worked in the medical clinic alongside Mission of Hope volunteers. There were approximately 150 people coming through the clinic every day for wound care, minor complaints i.e. nausea, vomiting, fever and minor infections, and some emergencies, about a dozen a day on average.”
Upon returning home, Hannah has continued her work at the Milton Keynes General Hospital A&E.
Hannah said: “Although at times I found my experience challenging it was the most rewarding thing I have ever done. Now that I am back in the UK and have returned to work I look back at what I did over the two weeks in Haiti and feel very proud. It has had a big impact on my life as well as in my profession as a nurse. Charities such as Mercy Ships and Mission of Hope are amazing charities that really do make a difference.”
Judy Polkinhorn, Executive Director of Mercy Ships said: “Mercy Ships has extensive experience in providing disaster relief and we have been working with Mission of Hope to provide vital medical equipment and volunteers to help rebuild the devastated Country. Volunteers such as Hannah are crucial to not only helping disaster victims such as those affected in Haiti but people who are desperately poor=and living in countries with little or no medical care such as those in Togo where the Africa Mercy is currently docked.
Over the last 30 years, Mercy Ships has worked in more than 70 countries providing services valued at £530million and impacting about 2.5million people.
The international charity has treated more than 485,000 people in village medical and dental clinics, performed more than 47,000 surgeries and completed more than 1,000 community development projects focusing on water and sanitation, education, infrastructure development and agriculture.