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Traverse City Nurse Put Her Skills to Work in Devastated Haiti

A true nurse at heart spent two weeks helping the people who need it the most. Brooke Borgeson-Gray always wanted to go on a medical mission, and as soon as an earthquake shook Haiti last month, the veteran sprang to action. She found a mission group online, and flew out to Port-Au-Prince to help. The group, called Missions of Love, first distributed rice, beans, and water to hundreds of starving families in need. “We figured we would just try to effect one person at a time,” says Borgeson-Gray, who has worked as a nurse at the Traverse Health Clinic, helping the uninsured, for about 30 years. But in Haiti, the uninsured is the least of their worries. Borgeson-Gray spent part of her time in Haiti at a hospital nursing infections and diseases. “I worked in an ICU with 20 beds,” she says. “It was very third world medicine. We just winged it most of the time.” In one word, Borgeson-Gray describes the experience as “enlightening.” One thing she found very uplifting were all the smiles. “It made me realize how much we, particularly Americans, take so much for granted,” she says. An honors group from Ferris State University heard about Borgeson-Gray's work in Haiti and organized a fundraiser in conjunction with Kilkenney's in Traverse City. A benefit concert is scheduled for Wednesday at 7pm at Kilkenney's. All the money raised with benefit the group, Missions for Love. 9&10's Ryan Raiche and Photojournalist Jeremy Erickson have more on one nurse's experience in Haiti.