Monthly Archives: June 2014

BYU students help refugee regain mobility

Ashley and Jessica (without damac)

Ashley Jones and Jessica Lewis at a refugee’s apartment.

It was a proud moment when BYU College of Nursing student Ashley Jones helped Damac, a Somalian refugee, to the upstairs of her apartment. Damac had been forced to stay on the first floor of her apartment for six months after she slipped on ice and broke her leg. When Damac saw how messy it was, she exclaimed, “Oh, it’s dirty!”

Each year in its public and global health nursing course, the BYU College of Nursing sends some of its capstone students to the Refugee and Immigrant Center at the Asian Association of Utah (RIC-AAU) for clinical experience. Approximately 1,000 refugees come to Utah each year, and the number of refugees sent to Salt Lake City has reached about 25,000. Jones and fellow nursing student Jessica Lewis were assigned to Damac and her family.

Following Damac’s accident, doctors inserted screws in her knee and ankle, leaving her bedridden. However, with inner strength and help from Jones and fellow nursing student Jessica Lewis, Damac regained her mobility.

This inner strength did not develop overnight. Damac spent most of her life in war-torn Somalia. According to her husband, Farhan, about 10 percent of the population is educated, and the other 90 percent is fighting over land and animals.

The danger forced Damac and her family to leave Somalia. Farhan traveled across six countries for two months. “He was…hiding in the forests, eating biscuits and water,” said Jones. “That’s it.”

Farhan worked in South Africa for four years until he had enough money to bring his family, which took only 20 days of safe travel. After 13 years in South Africa, they petitioned the UN for resettlement.

They had not planned on living in Utah. “We just got very lucky,” Farhan said.

The adjustment proved to be difficult, but despite the cultural differences, Damac is doing well and helping others.

“Their resilience as a family has been really amazing,” said Jones. “They are very good about reaching out to the other families that come in.”

Damac began making progress with walking as her family began to push her. “She has demonstrated a consistency…which is great because we were really focused on helping her,” Jones said.

Jones taught Damac some simple, effective exercises using cheap, make-shift equipment. For example, a bag of peas became an icepack and rice in a sock became a heating pad. For her foot, a water bottle converted itself into a physical therapy roller.

“We’ve really tried not to do anything for them that they can’t do themselves,” said Jones. “We will always interact with people throughout our lives that may not have all the advantages that they need.”

Jones said she loved the experience because it taught her to work with people from different backgrounds. “The biggest reason why I chose to go with the refugees is that I can see in the future how valuable, not just in nursing, but in every aspect of my life, how important something like this is.”

Ashley and Jessica

Ashley Jones and Jessica Lewis help Damac regain her mobility.


Student remains at hospital to witness Navajo birth


Joanna Rasband stands next to Navajo artwork in a hospital.

After a long day at the hospital, all of the other nursing students from the Public and Global health group had left, but Joanna Rasband decided to stay and participate in a Navajo woman’s natural birth to a nine-pound baby without an epidural.
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How to treat your dragon burn


Thinking about getting a dragon? “How to Train Your Dragon 2” makes it look easy, but here are some health concerns you may want to consider before investing in some fire extinguishers.
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Sick (of work) day? Buy a doctor’s note

fake note

A fake doctor’s note that Frank Langfitt bought for $33 from an online store on Taobao, the EBay of China

Few countries are so addicted to the World Cup that they would be willing to allow forgery, but apparently China is one of them.
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Health tips for travelers


Here at the College of Nursing, we frequently travel around the world for clinical experience, so If you’re planning on visiting any developing countries this summer, such as Brazil for the World Cup, take a look at our health tips.brazil
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Thank you: 70th Anniversary of D-Day

D-day photo

Soldiers storm Normandy’s beaches on June 6, 1944. Photo retrieved from

Exactly 70 years ago, over 160,000 Allied troops landed on the beaches of Normandy to fight Nazi Germany. While they suffered heavy losses, the invasion was a success. Nurses and doctors alike provided excellent medical care for the wounded, preserving soldiers’ lives and returning them to their families. Several of these nurses belonged to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The following excerpts come from the book “Latter-day Saint Nurses at War: A Story of Caring and Sacrifice,” by Lynn Callister.
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Last Code Talker dies leaving behind legacy


Young Chester Nez as a soldier in the Pacific theater. Photo retrieved from

Leaving behind a legacy of pride and honor for the Navajo Nation, Chester Nez, the last of the original Code Talkers, passed away Wednesday morning.
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