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Nurse forgoes holiday to do her duty in Haiti

For the first time in 31 years, Anne Leland will not spend Christmas with her husband, Kim.

For the first time in 31 years, Anne Leland will not spend Christmas with her husband, Kim.

Instead, Leland boarded a flight last night at midnight. The destination? Haiti.

Leland, emergency manager at Westview Health Centre in Stony Plain, will arrive to work in one of three Samaritan’s Purse cholera clinics on Christmas Day.

“Our focus is on the Christmas season, and the giving and receiving of gifts,” said Leland. “To me, this is a gift I can give back to the Haitian people, giving my skills as a registered nurse.”

Leland has been a nurse since the early 1990s. She has never made a trip like this before, though she’s always wanted to — especially since the Jan. 12 earthquake hit.

Following that catastrophic event, Samaritan’s Purse was on scene. Since the cholera outbreak hit mid-October, Samaritan’s Purse rerouted their resources and opened cholera clinics in three different locations, thanks to medical volunteers from all over the world.

“We were very concerned over Christmas,” said Martin Silbernagel, communications adviser with the organization. “(But many) have stepped up to the plate at an especially difficult time to leave your family.”

 
 
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