-- — After 30 hours of travel time each way, Batesville sisters Cathy Bauer and Claire Nichols experienced Cape Town, South Africa, for just over a week recently.
“The reason for the trip was to host a conference for pediatric surgeons and nurses,” explains Bauer, a 29-year registered nurse who works at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.
“Our founding director, Dr. Alberto Pena, invented the surgery we do. Our director, Dr. Marc Levitt, is passionate about teaching other pediatric surgeons about the technique.”
“I held a conference with nurses from South Africa and taught our pre- and post-op care and the medical management of our patients.” Levitt and a urologist instructed pediatric surgeons from Africa and Europe.
Nichols points out, “Children's Hospital and Cathy are making such an amazing difference for children all over the world.”
During a mission trip to Ethiopia several years ago, it was all work for the 1980 Batesville High School graduate – 24 surgeries. “This time I wanted to see the country and experience the people and culture outside of the hospital.”
She wanted a companion. “I invited my sister, who had just helped me remodel my house and let me stay at her house during that time.”
According to Nichols, “I honestly had to take a day to think about going because you hear of such terrible violence in Africa. But I quickly accepted her offer. I became the planner for our visit, while my sister spent her free time working on her schoolwork (Bauer is in a Bachelor of Science in Nursing cohort program at College of Mount St. Joseph) and planning her presentations for the conference.”
The daughters of Ray and Mary Lou Werner, Batesville, report the most impactful part of their journey was visiting one of the townships, “which were formed when the apartheid forced hundred of thousands of people into shantytowns,” Nichols notes.