2006-07-15 / News

Ledtke's Volunteer Medical Expertise, Care in Phillipines Trip

Registered nurses Kathryn Ledtke (right) and her daughter, Autumn, spent two weeks in the Philippines on a medical mission trip. Registered nurses Kathryn Ledtke (right) and her daughter, Autumn, spent two weeks in the Philippines on a medical mission trip. East Bluff resident Kathryn Ledtke and her daughter, Autumn, are both registered nurses and have returned from two medical mission trips that assisted more than 8,000 patients, filled more than 4,000 prescriptions, and distributed more than 600 pairs of eyeglasses to those in need on the Philippine island of Leyte and at Chinandego, Nicaragua.

While in the Philippines for two weeks, the team of volunteers performed general surgery, facial reconstructive surgery for the children with clef lips and palates, and established an outpatient clinic and pharmacy.

"We gain much more than we give," said Mrs. Ledtke.

They joined 60 other health care providers representing Medical Mission for Children, the Auxiliary to the Philippine Medical Mission of Michigan, the Medical Mission for Children Inc. of Salem, Massachusetts, and UST Beta Gamma Phi.

The medical team left Palawan just before the area was hit with mudslides, said Mrs. Ledtke. When the team heard the news, they planned to return, but were advised not to by the Red Cross.

Kathryn Ledtke helped provide medical care to children during a 10-day mission trip to Nicaragua. (Photographs coutesy of Kathryn Ledtke) Kathryn Ledtke helped provide medical care to children during a 10-day mission trip to Nicaragua. (Photographs coutesy of Kathryn Ledtke) The agency told them that there were few survivors and the potential for additional mudslides made the area too dangerous, she said.

On the 10-day trip to Nicaragua, the two women were part of a team representing the Immanuel Lutheran Church in St. Clair that operated a medical clinic. The majority of the Nicaragua patients were treated for intestinal diseases and malnutrition type ailments, said Mrs. Ledtke.

The team also worked with Central Mission Center in Chinandego, helping to get food bagged for distribution to those in need. The group was able to get donations and dispensed 12 tons of beans, rice and other food to the people of Chinandego. A donation of $13.25 can provide food for four weeks for a Nicaraguan family of four, she said.

"It certainly makes you count your blessings and clarifies your priorities in life," said Mrs. Ledtke. She will be traveling to Brazil in October and then back to Nicaragua in January.

Kathryn Ledtke and her husband, Steven, a physician, live in Marysville and own a cottage on the East Bluff. Autumn Ledtke lives in Providence, Rhode Island, and volunteers for mission trips with her mother several times a year.

In other travels this year, Mrs. Ledtke and three daughters, Autumn, Ashley and Allison, visited the Holy Land in May.

While in Isreal, they followed a path Jesus took, took a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee, toured Bethlehem, and saw the birthplace of Jesus.

In Jerusalem they walked the Via Dolorosa, visited the Garden of Gethsemane, the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, and the Garden Tomb.

They were also rebaptized in the Jordan River, saw the Qumran Caves where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered, and took a cable car to the mountain top of Masada.

They also crossed the Suez Canal and traveled through the Sinai Peninsula.

In Egypt, they visited Cairo, saw the Pyramids, the Sphinx, and took a cruise on the Nile River.

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