Nicole Takes China

My Spring Break was kind of… AMAZING! Not only was it full of adventure, but the adventure took place in China! I can honestly say that my trip to China was life changing. I finally understand what it means to appreciate the little things in life. I can barely begin to put into words the different things I was exposed to. The many individuals that I met in China reignited my drive to not only become a doctor and serve those in third world countries, but they have given me a reason to. In life we often get so caught up in achieving certain goals that we often lose touch of why we are even doing them in the first place. As cliche as it may sound, I truly believe that the children I met in China have restored my sense of humanity.

The journey began early Tuesday morning. I can’t really describe all the emotions that were rushing through my body. It was like on one hand I was nervous, but on the other I was just ready to jump on thr flight and completely immerse myself into the unfamiliar culture. When we landed, it was like a whole new world, the language was different, the food was different, everything was different. BUT I LOVED IT. There is nothing like trying new things for the very first time. Nothing can compare to the moment you smell, see, or touIMG_1867ch something for the VERY first time. Above all, nothing compares to being able to help a complete stranger for the very first time.

So I guess I should get to the part of where I actually did things right? Ok, enough ranting. lol.

So the day we landed in Lanzhou province, we went to the hospital to meet the patients who were going to have the surgery the next day. We met the mother and father of two year old, “Zhenyu Tian”, and the mother of 4 year old, “Yue Ma”. It broke my heart to see such innocent young children have to be in the situation they were in. The pain in their parent’s eyes told it all. It didn’t matter that I couldn’t understand the language, I  knew that they were hurting deep inside.

The next day came and it was now surgery time. After being briefed on the conditions of the children, we suited up and prepared to watch the operation. I didn’t know what to expect. I knew that I was about to watch open heart surgery, but how can one even prepare themselves mentally for that type of thing? So I went in and there I was. Standing in the middle of the theatre watching as the doctor carefully carvFullSizeRendered an entrance into the child’s heart. I watched as the beats went from diseased to deceased. My heart dropped. Throughout the hour and a half operation, I stood watching as the doctors and nurses worked to save this childs life. It was a beautiful thing.

The next day in Lanzhou we went to visit past Ahi patients in the homes on the countryside. This was definitely the most eye opening experience for me. We watched as the families offered us literally everything they had. Their homes were made of clay, their food supply was lacking, and they collected water from the rain. I couldn’t believe the conditions they were subjected to. However, they didn’t let this break their spirits. They welcomed us with water bottles that cost half their years’ salary, and welcomed us with open hearts. This was the point where I felt my heart break. To them, they feel like we have changed their lives, but it was them who changed my mine. I admire them, and want to dedicate everything in my power to help them as well as many others in the same conditions across the world.

After the family visits we returned the the hospital to check on our patient who received the surgery. She was recovering quickly and you could see the transformation in her mother. She smiled, but this time from her heart. Her daughter doesn’t have to live in pain anymore and that is such a precious relief I will never forget.

The remainder of our trip was spent as tourists. We flew from Lanzhou to Shanghai and saw so much. From Shanghai we spent our last couple of days in Hong Kong. To put it into a few words, China was amazing!

 

zotfingers– Nicole  FullSizeRender-2 Screen Shot 2015-03-27 at 15.13.06DSC_1480IMG_8425  IMG_8409

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