By Michael Rampoldi, Cardiac Sonographer
Our visit to Kiritimati is one I will remember for the rest of my life. This was my first experience with mission work, so I was very proud and honored to be invited. It’s something I always wanted to do, but never had the opportunity.
Our field of ultrasound is very specific and most of the time physicians are the only ones asked to volunteer, so this was especially important for me. Not only could I provide a selfless service to the people in need, I could represent my field and hospital with the dignity and respect that we so deeply cherish.
I believe our team provided a level of service and care that will set the standard for the future missions to come.
There is a greater need that what we imagined, so our mission doesn’t stop here… in fact, we are looking forward to the next assignment.
The people of Kiribati were very kind and thankful during our entire stay.. providing dinners and banquets for us at every opportunity. The gracious and exuberant way they accepted our help was very touching to me, and the physicians who currently manage the hospital (on Christmas Island) stood at our side offering assistance whenever needed.
It was truly a team effort, led by the local physicians, Mr. Carlton Smith of Pacific Islands Medical Aid, Inc., and cardiothoracic surgeon Dr. David Moore of Baylor Heart Hospital in Plano, Texas.
We seemed to have the right team from the start, as Amy Moore developed a database for record keeping and necessary follow-up documentation, which will also set the standard for teams in the future.
Sarah Moore continuously provided updates and managed the flow of patients entering the hospital doors, which included taking photos and interacting closely with the staff and patients in need. Jourdan Rampoldi was extremely helpful in organizing the echocardiography paperwork and keeping me on task to work more efficiently during exams.
Reducing the rate of Rheumatic Heart Disease and improving the lives of the I-Kiribati people will continue to be the primary goal of the ‘Heart Team’ from Dallas, Texas.