Nurses from around nation volunteer at monastery

RNRN volunteers keep busy at the Monastery during their four day stay.
RNRN volunteers keep busy at the Monastery during their four day stay.
Published: Jul. 7, 2019 at 5:35 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) -The Monastery has seen record numbers of migrants needing their help recently. Volunteer nurses from around the US have come back to the Monastery to offer that help.

Kimberly Spray and Maria Rojas are two of the nurses from RN Response Network, an organization that sends volunteer nurses to places that need them most. Spray is from New Mexico, while Rojas is from Florida. They are here, they said, to help with the influx of migrants and poor conditions they said they are held in.

“Many of these people have not eaten for days or had any water for days,” said Spray.

Rojas has volunteered in Tucson before and came back again seeing the need.

“This time, we’re seeing a lot of quick turnover from ICE detention,” said Rojas.

Three nurses from RNRN are volunteering from July 5 through July 8. The work, for Rojas, is personal.

“My grandparents immigrated from Mexico,” said Rojas.

She said her parents were migrant workers, her dad was illiterate, and her mom had an eighth-grade education. There were times her family struggled, and she said some of that same struggle and hope for a better life can be seen in the migrants she is helping.

“We have a little girl who came in with Leukemia,” said Rojas.

Pregnant women and women who have just given birth are among their patients, but mental health has been another medical issue they have to help with.

“We are here if they have a physical complaint, but we try to be the friendly face as well,” said Spray.

For these nurses, there is no border, but a person. When a new bus of migrants arrived on Sunday with about 30-40 people on-board, they were ready.

“We said our nightingale vows it wasn’t just to Americans, it wasn’t just to the people you felt needed to have that care, it was for everyone,” said Rojas.

RNRN has been sending nurses to Tucson since February. They said the next time they send a crew is still to be determined.

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