Monica Preciado, a Surgical Technologist for Kootenai Health's Heart Team, has shown what it means to be a Girl Scout in her life's work. Preciado relocated to Coeur d'Alene, Idaho in June of 2007. In addition to her career at the medical center, she is also a proud Leader of Cadette Troop 3041 and Manager of Service Unit 443.
Recently, Preciado went on her second medical mission trip to Kigali, Rwanda with Healing Hearts Northwest, based out of Spokane, Washington. Historically, Rwanda suffered greatly from the genocide of 1994 and is still in the rebuilding process. They have no cardiac surgeons and suffer from a very high rate of Rheumatic Fever, which leads to Rheumatic Heart Disease. The team spent two weeks in Rwanda performing heart surgery at no cost. Without help, most patients are extremely ill and unable to work or attend school because their heart cannot function properly.
Beyond saving lives in Rwanda, Preciado's team collected items for patients in the unit, orphans and Girl Guides. Preciado and her daughter, Adrianna, made contact with Rwanda Girl Guides while there. Preciado and Adrianna have hopes to set up a Pen Pal program between the two organizations so they can help support them in their efforts to reach out to the girls of Rwanda. Not all girls in Rwanda are able to attend school and lack support for education because of poverty. Rwanda Girl Guides Association is helping them to see that they are capable of anything and that they have a safe place available for girls to be girls.
This mission meant a lot to Preciado. "There are no words to describe a trip like this. We were able to save the lives of patients who are now attending medical school and hoping to become doctors in Rwanda," remarked Preciado. "How can you not smile from ear to ear knowing you were a small piece of the puzzle to make that happen?"
Girl Scouts teaches girls the importance of helping others and provides them the opportunity to do so. "It reminds us that the bonds we make from helping each other is the definition of true success," exclaimed Preciado. "I grew up in Girl Scouts and coming back as a leader reinforced my confidence to step out on adventures. I was prepared for whatever that adventure may bring."
We want to thank Monica Preciado for her unprecedented selflessness, caring spirit, and passion to help others. She truly embodies what it means to be a Girl Scout on a daily basis.