Nancy Sabin the Raider of the Lost Finger

Danny Sabin, Staff Writer

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Nancy Sabin is a character straight out of Indiana Jones, she is always on a adventure in nursing. Dr. Sabin is a Nurse Practitioner and a nursing teacher at Azusa Pacific.  When she was younger she would work with nonprofits like World Vision and Wycliffe to help other countries in need of medical care. From 1993 through 1994 she went to the Peruvian Amazon to help vaccinate a village against measles, chicken pox, and other similar diseases.

In the village she was vaccinating it was common to hunt parrots.  “New World parrots will easily rank among the most colorful birds in the Peruvian Amazon,” according to a bird guide, which is why they are so commonly hunted.  “Most of the villagers who hunted the parrots used spears but this particular young man had bought a shotgun from a river trader so he was using that,” said Dr. Sabin.  “It was pouring rain and the man was aiming at a parrot and he took a step to adjust his aim and he slipped on the mud and the gun went off.” “The whole village was wailing and clapping and it was very surreal, but they all do a sympathy wail when someone gets hurt.”  

The man had shot one of his fingers almost all the way off with the shotgun however Dr. Sabin was there with a surgical nurse so they decided to try and reattach the finger. They didn’t have a clean table or a professional set up so they had to improvise. Dr. Sabin decided a banana leaf, which due to its lack of hair and constant rain would be very sterile, would be their work table.  “I’m very glad that the surgical nurse was there it seemed our abilities combined just perfectly to get the job done,” said Dr. Sabin.

“One of my favorite things while I was there was the local children had never actually seen ice before and we had ice and they were so mesmerized,”said Dr. Sabin.  She later traded antibiotics to the man so the finger would not get infected for a headdress and a spear from the local tribe. Dr. Sabin has traveled many places since then including Somalia where she survived a bombing. Dr. Sabin is a true inspiration.

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