I started working with International Extremity Project more than ten years ago by creating the website and writing blog posts from information the team sent me from the trips. And then six years ago, Dr. Bruce Lehnert asked if I would join the group for a trip to Vietnam.
It was definitely one of those "who me?" moments. It was like when you're in a room and someone waves in your direction and you look around wondering if they're really waving at you. Except I was in front of a keyboard and screen, so the question really was for me.
Needless to say, I said yes. I agreed to fly around the world with people I didn't really know to do something that I'd never even come close to doing before. It was amazing.
And now I'm headed on my fifth journey with International Extremity Project. Somehow it's still hard to imagine that I have this opportunity. Am I really packing for my second mission trip to Namibia? Are those really totes of medical equipment in my living room?
I've gone from writing blog posts to managing the patient information, working on the surgery schedules, and sometimes even helping in the operating room. (Fear not: My OR role is usually paperwork, comforting patients, or getting sterile supplies for the medical team.) It makes the answer to "what did you do on your vacation?" far more interesting than it once was.