Meet Carson White, an ER nurse on a mission, a mission that has taken her to Malawi and back… then back to Malawi several more times. And although the name sounds like Maui, it is far from it, and not only in distance. This small African country, known as the Warm Heart of Africa, is one of the least developed countries in the world. It has a low life expectancy and high infant mortality, and a desperate need for medical professionals.
In 2006, Carson went with members of her church and her then boyfriend, Jeff, to Malawi on a mission trip. At that time, Carson had no medical training but she was able to help as a guardian at the underdeveloped village hospital, providing food and supplies (items that would otherwise not be provided) to patients during their hospital stay. And, being that it was a mission, she was there for spiritual support as well. Carson vividly recalled an invitation to pray for a boy who had been burned by rolling into the fire that was keeping him warm at night, and it was a heart-wrenching sight. “I just lost it,” she said. “Ran out of the room; couldn’t handle it; crying in the middle of this nasty floor and just felt totally called and overwhelmed,” Carson said. “God was like ‘You’re gonna be a nurse. Let’s do it.’”
“I just lost it,” she said. “Ran out of the room; couldn’t handle it; crying in the middle of this nasty floor and just felt totally called and overwhelmed,” Carson said. “God was like ‘You’re gonna be a nurse. Let’s do it.’”
Carson White, ER nurse
Before stepping foot back on U.S. soil, Carson had a plan. And it seems that when Carson has a plan – she sticks to it.
Carson and Jeff were married in December 2006. She answered to her calling and began nursing school the following January. They wasted no time and took their next trip to Malawi later that year, where their passion and feelings for the people of Malawi were confirmed. More plans were developed; Carson would finish nursing school then work in the ER for a year, to prepare her to go back to Africa. And that is exactly what she did. But when they returned to Malawi – again in 2010, she and Jeff stayed – this time for three years.
During the three years, the couple began their involvement with Chisomo Idea, a soccer outreach program to keep youth involved and out of trouble. Carson helped start a mobile medical clinic – with an organization, E3 – which started in a tiny church with no beds, patients lying on the ground. It has since outgrown that venue, and now serves nearly 1,200 patients in a day-and-a-half.
Thanks to Carson and others on the same mission, Malawians have grown healthier, lives have been saved, and hearts have become warmer – in the Warm Heart of Africa. Carson and Jeff’s hearts were warmed as well and so were the hearts of two Malawian children, Esime, 4, and Hollis, 5, adopted by Carson and Jeff after each of their mothers had passed during child birth.
And wouldn’t you know, the plans that Carson is so good at sticking to are ever-evolving. After returning from the family’s most recent trip in July, Carson simply stated “I wanna go back.”
“They need nurse practitioners. They need that, and they need it fast,” she said. ”That is why both of my kids’ mothers died – because there was a lack of adult intensive care and emergency medicine.”
“Back in 2006… I really didn’t know what I wanted to do. ..Even after living in Africa for three years, I didn’t know where my life was going. It was really that trip (in 2006) that changed what I wanted to do and what I wanted to be. So after school is done, I am hoping to be back there again…”
So the plan continues. Carson is currently attending nurse practitioner school. When she finishes, she plans to work another year, and then go back to where she will pursue her mission – of healing the adults of Malawi.