Neil introduced Shirley as an RN with the Simcoe Muskoka Health Unit which works on major projects like the Swine Flue innoculations. She also travels on medical missions supported by an International Committee and local funding. She's been to Jamaica, the Amazon, Fiji, Nepal, to the Dominican Republic 3 times and to Haiti. She always takes a Physician's Travel Pack when she goes.
Shirley said a Travel Pack contains medicins to make up 1,500 prescription and has a value of over $5,000.00 plus shipping. Rotary has purchased 5 of these over the years. They are used while the mission is in the field and if any drugs are left over the Pack is left with others working there. The Medical Ministry International sends over 70 missions to 54 countries annually. She has participated in 10, which was her goal, and has spent $35,000.00 to $40,000.00 of her own money and now must ask whether she can keep it up or if it's time to quit. Her last mission was high on the plateau in Ecuador and the hostel they stayed at was only cabanas on the hillside and with no heat or hot water it was very cold and uncomfortable. She arrived at the airport with her luggage plus 5 bags of supplies and saw what she thought was an underemployed ticket handler so she asked for assistance. Turned out he was the GM of American Airlines researching how their processes were working. He was very helpful and upgraded her. They visited 10 villages on her latest trip - seeing 100 patients an hour between the two nurses and the two teachers present. She acted as triage nurse for the doctors and they gave instruction on proper health care and how to take the medicine but there was a note of despair to the story of the 22 year old who was having her 6th child. There were children everywhere. As long as they were being breastfed they were all right but as soon as they stopped, they got parasites. 113 million dollars has been raised in Canada to help Haiti, which should make us proud, but the country was a tragedy before the earthquake and Shirley has doubts that there will ever be a recovery. She extended her thanks to the Club for its support to her over the years and for all the others that have helped. Phil thanked her back for the effort and sacrifices she has endured to give to these people. She showed pictures of her travels, including crossing a river on a board bridge while the bus forded the river. The climbed 4,000 metres to a crater filled with sea water.