Matters of the Heart: RN assists in life-saving operations around the world
FRANKLIN, Tenn.—Jim Hawley, RN, is a favorite among the young patients at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital Vanderbilt at Williamson Medical Center. His work, however, sometimes takes him far beyond Tennessee. In fact, he’s helped children from around the world in dire need of medical care.
Since 2007, Hawley has volunteered with the Samaritan’s Purse Children’s Heart Project, which arranges life-saving heart operations in the United States for young children in areas of the world that may not have the necessary or most available medical facilities. This work has taken him to all corners of the globe; including Honduras in Central America, Mongolia in East Asia, the Kosovo region in Eastern Europe, and two trips to the African nation of Uganda.
He wears several hats in this role. Hawley gets to meet the families and then supervise all travel and medical decisions for the children, from their countries of origin to the U.S. hospitals that graciously offer their services.
Facing a serious operation and international travel can be tremendous stress on the child and their family, so another of Hawley’s responsibilities is to help put all of them at ease.
“The work is rewarding and gives me a deep appreciation for the services offered to me here in the United States,” Hawley said.
“Williamson Medical Center has supported me and has been kind enough to allow me the time to complete this volunteer work.”
A photo on Jim Hawley’s staff room locker shows him holding Peter, a young boy from Uganda, on his lap. Hawley accompanied Peter back to Uganda after the child underwent a heart operation in Austin, Texas. Hawley keeps this photo on his locker as a reminder of his work with Samaritan’s Purse.
In early 2017, after marking 10 years of working with Samaritan’s Purse, Hawley assisted a young boy from Uganda, named Peter. The child had just completed heart surgery at an Austin, Texas hospital and was ready to go home. As Hawley had experience volunteering in Uganda before, he was asked to come escort Peter back home, to help make the young boy’s trip more comfortable.
Hawley left Franklin, Tennessee for Austin, and then boarded a flight to Uganda, with Peter, his family, and an interpreter, so they could communicate easier.
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When he came back to Tennessee, Hawley returned with a photo. It was a picture of him and little Peter, both smiling. Hawley keeps it on his locker at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital Vanderbilt at Williamson Medical Center, a lasting reminder of the happiness he helped bring the families he’s served.Share this Article
Tags: child, children, children's hospital, heart, nurse, nursing, operation, RN, samaritan's purse, surgery, volunteer, volunteering