At the center of Lighthouse Medical Mission is a whirlwind named Alison Hagoski who performs triage, dispatches minor cases, tames the maelstrom and keeps the clinic cranking out patients efficiently.
The registered nurse doesn’t count how missions she’s been on. She counts the ones she’s missed: three of the 30 or so in almost two decades.
On Tuesday, Alison whipped through the pell-mell barking orders and sending patients to doctors or to pharmacy. The Guatemala clinic attended to 190 patients, about 50 of which she handled personally.
She’s an old school nurse who keeps her shift in order. She ministers with Christian love and a smile but with a firmness that lets you know who’s the boss. “What is this man doing here? He was here yesterday.” (Faced with poverty, more than one patient tries to get free medicine twice).
“This person needs to leave the clinic. She’s already received her meds.” “You’re blood pressure is fine. You’re medicine is working. Do you want some more medicines?” “You need to lose 10 pounds. No sodas. No rice. No bread. No tortillas.”
Her translator hustles to keep up with her in the school patio-turned-clinic. She interjects words in Spanish, with her thick New Zealander accent, sometimes correctly, sometimes erring. The words tumble out, even in French or Swahili or any random language of the nine countries she’s be to in Africa.
It is evident she enjoys working with people. She calls everyone, even grown men, “Doll” or ”Darling.”
Alison is 58 years but she works at a frenzied pace of someone much younger. Retired from UCLA, she practices privately rehab and nurse training. She lives with her husband, a cabinet maker, and youngest son in in a comfortable surfer’s house in Santa Monica. Read the rest of the article.