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Mingo County nurse headed to Bahamas to give care to refugees

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WILLIAMSON, W.Va. (WOWK) – One nurse from our region is determined to give others they care they need and she’s packing up and leaving the Mountain State to go serve those who need it most.

Lelia Andrews is a registered nurse at Williamson Memorial Hospital in Mingo County. She recently finished a fun trip to the Bahamas with her family and she’s going back again this week, but this time it’s all business.

“I try to treat everybody like my family,” Andrews said. “These people need all the help they can get.”

It’s been three weeks since Dorian hit the Bahamas, devastating entire communities on two of the islands. Thousands are struggling to find food, water, shelter, and healthcare.

“Most of them are refugees, so the government isn’t giving them care,” Andrews said.

Andrews, with money out of her own pocket and a few donations, is headed there to do what nurses do best.

“I’ve always wanted to help people,” Andrews said. “To me, this is a part of being a nurse. We help people.”

Andrews has worked at Williamson Memorial Hospital for several years now and going on a medical mission trip is something she’s wanted to do for a long time and her coworkers, including Chief Nursing Officer Loretta Simon, say they couldn’t be more proud.

“I’m just so excited and I know, again, it’s dear to her heart,” Simon said. “I know it’s going to be a once-in-a-lifetime adventure and something she’ll continue to do.”

There is a thousand miles between Andrews and her soon-to-be patients, but she says they can make her heart their home.

“Whether it be would care, children, infants, pregnant women, whatever I may encounter,” Andrews said. “I want to give them the best care to help them remember that there are people out there who care for them.”

Because that’s what nurses do.

If you’re interested in helping the victims of Hurricane Dorian you can take a look at the American Red Cross website.

Andrews will be gone for five days and has to cover everything for this trip including her own survival gear, food, water, and plane tickets. If you are interested in helping you can visit her medical fundraising page.

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