Community Spirit--Rosa Sutton - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

01/31/06

Community Spirit--Rosa Sutton

Rosa Sutton Rosa Sutton

After 40 years in nursing, Rosa Sutton thought she had seen it all. But it wasn't until she met a missionary from Kenya that she realized her true calling.

When most of us think about Kenya, we think of Nairobi, a modern city. But many areas like Ngong are very primitive. Sutton saw firsthand how the people live without the basics that even the poorest American takes for granted.

"They don't have sewage lines," she told us. "When it rains there, they catch the water in these big barrels. In the Massai area they have dug a dam and when it rains, it's there."

Sutton spent 12 days working throughout the country with a mobile clinic called Caroodo. With only 5 people on staff, they bring medical care to several isolated areas. Many times they see more than 100 patients in one day. During her time there, Sutton cared for many with malaria, bronchitis, typhoid fever and high blood pressure.

"The saddest thing about it is they had to turn so many people away because at a certain time you have to stop," she said. "We had worked all day with only a short break for water and washing our hands."

It's the same dedication and compassion she shows on her main job at St. Joseph's Candler. "I knew once she went, she would be wonderful," said the hospital's Cindy Stanford. "She's so good with people and she's a great nurse. She would interact well and be a bright spot there."

She made an impression and so did the people of Kenya. While Sutton's back at work, she'll never forget them and remains determined to go back and do even more the next time.

That's how Rosa Sutton captures the WTOC Community Spirit.

Caroodo is funded only through private donations and the staff is practically all volunteer, since it doesn't have the money to pay salaries.

Questions or comments concerning WTOC Community Spirit should be directed to Dawn Baker, dbaker@wtoc.com.

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