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Kelowna  

Okanagan helping hand

Crystal Grymaloski's life changed just before Christmas this year.

The Okanagan nurse, who trained at KGH and is currently working at Vernon Jubilee Hospital, got the call to help with disaster relief effort in Bangladesh. At first, she didn't think she could do it. But, after speaking with Frank King and the rest of the Samaritan's Purse disaster response team, she changed her mind.

"It was a little bit of a scramble, and I didn't think I could do it but then I realized maybe I didn't have to say no."

After thinking about it, she realized she didn't have to say no.

So, after receiving the first email on Dec. 5, she deployed Dec. 8.

"It was chaotic, fascinating, challenging, wonderful, terrible. It's hard to wrap it up into one experience. Whenever I leave the country or practise in a new area, there is a slow shift of who you are. There were a number of firsts in this setting for me as a nurse."

Grymaloski says doing the follow-up publicity interviews is nerve-wracking, but she knows how important it is to get the word out and actually show where some of the donation money charity organizations like Samaritan's Purse raise, gets spent.

On top of her duties as a nurse/volunteer, Grymalski is also studying for her master's degree online at UVIC.

She is working towards becoming part of the provincial nurse practitioner's program with an eye on working an living in Nelson.

But she's committed to giving back and is ready to help again the next time the world needs a little relief and "nurse's touch."



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