In 2022, Texas Children’s Pediatric ICU nurse Kyle Cockerham embarked on a transformative medical mission. Stationed in the Eastern European country of Moldova for a month with the U.S.-based organization Send Relief, Kyle provided care as well as a little bit of hope to Ukrainian refugees and local patients in need during one of the largest humanitarian crises of war since World War II. Along with a team of three doctors, several nurses and various medical staff, Kyle attended to a variety of medical needs.
“The hardest part of the mission was seeing everyone so dispersed and emotionally shut down,” Kyle recalls. “We saw mostly women, children and the elderly, as the men were still in Ukraine. They all had heartbreaking stories.”
Among the many life lessons taught by the most influential man in Kyle’s life – his father – was the importance of selflessness and integrity. These values are ultimately what drew Kyle to a career in nursing.
“Nursing is a profession where one can devote one’s life to showing compassion to others, working as a team, and critically thinking,” Kyle says.
After working pediatric rotations at Texas Children’s during nursing school, Kyle changed his career trajectory from adult trauma ICU to pediatric ICU. Because of his experience with the patients, nurses, and physicians he worked with, he knew that Texas Children’s would be a great place to start a nursing career.
Kyle enjoys the excitement and adrenalin of the pediatric ICU and appreciates the opportunity to act as a team to provide the highest level of care for patients. Using his medical skills and everything he has learned at Texas Children’s, Kyle not only provides the best care possible for people facing hardship around the world, but helps his patients abroad feel seen and cared for.
Texas Children’s has been supportive of Kyle’s goal to regularly serve on medical missions, giving him the needed time off to do so. When he sold t-shirts to help fund the trip, members of his team and even the office of CEO Mark A. Wallace showed their support.
Kyle thinks every medical professional should experience what it is like to step out of the luxury of a hospital and give back to people who are desperately in need. He hopes to inspire healthcare providers to volunteer outside of their specific job responsibilities.
“I think that’s what being a leader means: displaying your passion to help others and showing someone else how to do the same.”
Kyle shares his experiences at mission conferences and with colleagues, continuing to prove that when you follow your heart and let compassion guide you, you not only change the life of someone else for the better but you change your life as well.
If, like Kyle, you are looking for a meaningful career, search our open positions and become a part of our One Amazing Team.