From MEDLIFE patient to volunteer - MEDLIFE

From MEDLIFE patient to volunteer

Remember the story of Gisela Neyra, the young woman from Pamplona who came to us for help with her hearing loss? MEDLIFE helped Gisela with various tests and doctors’ appointments, but her hearing impairment was getting progressively worse, to the point that she lost her job and was struggling to keep up in pharmacy school. The only solution was to get hearing aids that cost thousands of dollars, which she could not afford. But a surprise gift from a MEDLIFE intern, Noemie Baudry, turned out to be just what she needed.

gisela2With her new hearing aids, Gisela was able to finish school, and this week she’s joining MEDLIFE staff members to help out in the pharmacy station at our first Mobile Clinic of the season! “I’m very happy to be here, because for as long as I’ve known MEDLIFE, it’s been an organization that helps people in need,” she told us. “And just as MEDLIFE helped me, now I can lend a hand myself.”

Practical experience in the pharmacy field is one of the requirements to finish her degree, and Gisela says she always had the idea of volunteering with MEDLIFE in mind. “I was just waiting to finish my studies so that I could help out,” she says.

Gisela tears up as she thinks back on the events of six months ago, when she first came into contact with MEDLIFE. “I knew my hearing was getting worse fast. I was studying but I couldn’t hear anymore; I listened, but I couldn’t understand.” She tried going to several different doctors, but they couldn’t help her, and the expense of the doctors’ appointments became too much for her to bear. Back then, her dream of finishing school and having a career seemed far off. With scant economic resources, she’s had to struggle to achieve her goals, little by little. Along the way, MEDLIFE became like a second family for her, and she says she’s proud to be a part of an organization that is doing so much good in her community.

This week, she’s working together with MEDLIFE staff and student volunteers from California to dispense medications prescribed by doctors at the Mobile Clinic. “I feel like my dreams are coming true,” she says.