Ava Redmond’s mission trip experiences piqued her interest in the medical field

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Ava Redmond

Ava Redmond casually poses in a bed of pink flowers.

The thought of going down to the Dominican Republic to help kids in need never occurred to senior Ava Redmond. Although, when her aunt and mother inspired her to go, she, under no circumstances, regretted it.

“My mom did [mission trips] while I was growing up,” Ava said. “So, when she asked me to come on the one to Haiti with her, even though I didn’t end up getting to go on that one, her love for it inspired me to go.”

Ava also found out about all the opportunities that her aunt’s church offered for regular churchgoers to go on and aid, support, and most of all comfort children’s health in a third-world country.

“Through the church, it was always very much spat at us with all of these opportunities that I could have taken and things that I looked at,” Ava said. “Seeing my mom and seeing all of the good that she got to experience and do exposed me to the idea of mission trips.” 

Through these experiences, she also got more in-depth with her hopes for a future medical career. Going along with her interest in the medical aspect of the trips, she previously collaborated with an OBGYN to give an ultrasound on a woman in the Dominican Republic. Furthermore, Ava gained lots of insight into the life of Dominicans and the way that people there are immensely grateful for everything that they receive.

I think the way that Dominican people live is just so inspiring [because] of the fact that I can go down there and it seems like they have so little or I have so many things that I can be grateful for.”

— Ava Redmond

She thoroughly benefited from the medical standpoint of the trip and nurturing children going through major health crises, though she had a few touching experiences and adventures with some of the infants and children present.

“There was a six-month-old baby and her name was Aecha,” Ava said. “I was with her for a few hours, because her mom had something super complicated going on medically and so she was with the doctors for a long time. I built a good relationship with [the baby]. That’s one thing about the babies is that they love getting passed around which is so fun.”

Ava also discovered a little girl that she met while on her mission trip. The girl was described and portrayed to be on the bit more shy side.

“There was another little girl and her name was Maria,” Ava said. “It was her fifth birthday and she latched on to me. We had a children’s youth ministry at each of the clinics where the kids would go and play together, but she didn’t want to leave her mom, and she didn’t want to leave my side. So I was with her for forever and she was so excited that she got to see all of these people who cared so much about her on her birthday.”

That experience, in particular, truly and indefinitely opened Ava’s eyes to how impoverished and underserved these kids are. It showed Ava that no matter the setting a kid was there, depressed or lively, they were always so happy. 

“Go on mission trips as much as you can, and if you have an opportunity, take it because it’s honestly life-changing,” Ava said. “You develop such a sense of community with people that you go down there with when I went with my aunt and her family. I built even a stronger bond than I already had.”