Esperança

MAY IS NATIONAL NURSE’S MONTH AND Esperança SALUTES FRED PELKA

Fred began his 42-year career in healthcare as a Navy Hospital Corpsman on an aircraft carrier.  Following the Navy, he returned to Nursing School at Tidewater Community College in Portsmouth, VA.  He began working as a nurse in the operating room in Portsmouth, VA upon graduating from Nursing School.

Fred’s first volunteer medical mission trip with Esperança was in 2002 to Belize.  This was the nonprofits first trip to Belize and the conditions were very poor; the staff had to drink from tin cans in the hospital.  From 2003 to 2007, Fred went to Bolivia with Esperança and performed many surgeries including gallbladder operations and c-sections.  In June of 2012, he went to Nicaragua on a pediatrics mission trip.  They set up at an outpatient surgery, Fred recalled the experience,   “It is amazing to see what you can accomplish with so little, we had to make do with limited supplies, so we would sterilize sheets and gowns and re-use them”.

“I continue to volunteer with Esperança because I love helping people.  It is so rewarding to see the reactions from a mother when we helped her child or to know a newborn baby was named after one of us,” says Fred.  “ We are really making a difference to the lives of so many people who would never have access to quality healthcare.”

While on the medical mission trips, Fred enjoys seeing new parts of the world, learning new cultures, trying new foods and interacting with the local people.

Last month, Fred started a new part time job at Noyes Hospital in Dansville, NY where he looks forward to helping local residents.

Thank you, Fred for helping Esperança with our mission!  We salute your hard work and commitment to our programs.