Report From Haiti - Page Warstler Steadman '01

Report From Haiti

Children are dear to alumna Page Warstler Steadman’s heart. The 2001 nursing graduate works for Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago with the division of cardiothoracic surgery. She cares for children with congenital heart defects who require open heart surgery or heart transplants. Steadman recently returned from a two-week trip to Haiti where she helped treat earthquake victims and witnessed the amazing resilience of the Haitian people.

Steadman saw over 80 patients on her first day in Haiti. People came to her with wounds and fractures, dehydration and the beginnings of disease due to lack of sanitation. She worked with other healthcare personnel in makeshift tents and even traveled to the countryside to treat children at several orphanages.

It was, Steadman says, “a very difficult but extremely rewarding trip.” Steadman brought to it a heart filled with compassion, the know-how to get the job done, and a desire to make a difference. That quality was reinforced during her studies at Saint Mary’s. “Saint Mary’s not only stressed the importance of academic excellence, but the social responsibility we have to the global community we live within to do good,” she says.

As a nursing student, Steadman appreciated Saint Mary’s holistic approach to healthcare. The program emphasizes treating the whole person—body, mind, and spirit. Now, she applies that same ethic in the workforce. “Whether it is through education and explaining things to patients and families, providing comfort, or through medical interventions, I am lucky to be able to do what I do,” she says.

Steadman’s skill and knowledge coupled with her compassionate heart make a significant impact in her patients’ lives. She believes strongly in providing good medical care to all people, both in the U.S. and abroad. It’s this belief that led her to Haiti after the earthquake. While examining, bandaging, and handing out food, Steadman says she was “overwhelmed by the strength and beauty” of the Haitian people. She recalls a six year-old boy whom she treated taking her hand before he left, kissing it, and saying simply, “Merci.”

The Haitian people’s sense of gratitude and concern for each other are what impressed Steadman most during her stay. The people reinforced her feeling of duty to the global community, one that she is happy to fulfill each day at the hospital. She says, “I feel truly blessed that every day I go to work I am able to make a difference in someone else’s life.”