I thought this article, by Julie Moore, was worth sharing.
From Her Hands to Their Hearts
Alia Iqbal is a Pediatric Critical Care Physician practicing at Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughter in Norfolk, Virginia. I am proud to have her here in our country taking care of our children every day; however, what captured my attention about Alia is she gives this gift of healing to children around the world.
Her desire to volunteer began years ago, and in 2007, she made the decision to join The International Children’s Heart Foundation. ICHF’s medical teams travel to countries performing pediatric heart surgeries; however, they also train the home team doctors and nurses to facilitate these surgeries, when a team is not in place. Teaching the medical teams to be self-sufficient is one if ICHF’s main objectives.
Her initial trip was to The Dominican Republic, where one of her first cases was a newborn with a very serious heart lesion. She recalls having to perform CPR to revive his tiny body. Thanks to ICHF, his heart was repaired that very day. When she returned to The Dominican Republic a year and a half later, she describes barely recognizing the healthy boy he had turned into. “Now that was rewarding!” she says.
Alia has traveled to the Dominican Republic, Honduras, Russia, Ukraine, India, Haiti, and Morocco. She volunteers 6 to 8 weeks each year with ICHF. “I’ll keep going as long as they keep taking me. It has been life changing for me,” she states. “I have so much fun and learn so much from the home team. The volunteers come from around the world so I get exposed to many new ideas, and I have made new friendships.”
Alia is an ICU Specialist in the Post OP Cardiac Care; however, when on a mission trip, if the team is short-staffed, she works as a nurse. She explains this has given her a greater appreciation for nurses at home. “I’ve been able to see the world through a different lens, and it has enriched my life,” she says.
It’s no doubt many lives have been enriched today because of Alia Iqbal.
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