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La Grande Observer Paper 08/29/14

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Home arrow News arrow Local News arrow ENTERPRISE NURSE HEADS EAST


Mary Lou Brink ().
Mary Lou Brink ().

By The Observer

ENTERPRISE An Enterprise woman, who as a little girl in the Philippines during World War II ran from falling bombs, is on her way to New York to aid victims of Tuesdays disaster.

There, registered nurse Mary Lou Brink expects to see devastation of greater magnitude than what she survived on the island of Jolo.

I feel very privileged to have been asked, Brink said about responding as a Red Cross volunteer nurse.

Brink was scheduled to fly from Spokane at 1 p.m. today, to arrive in Newark, N.J., at 11 p.m., not knowing yet if she will find a place to stay that night. That may be my greatest challenge, but Ill manage.

A year ago, to the day, she flew to New Jersey, to help 12 hours per day for three weeks with the aftermath of Hurricane Floyd.

In October 2000 Brink volunteered to direct a shelter and serve as a nurse in Windon, Ariz., during the flood there.

She said she is not fluent in Spanish; but as the only Spanish speaking Red Cross volunteer, she was sensitive to the Hispanic culture where she reassured frightened children.

In New York, her mental health training may make her more versatile.

Brink has an appreciation for the Muslim culture. She grew up as a Christian in a village that was about 85 percent Muslim. Her father was the personal physician to the sultan there.

At 18 she came to San Antonio to study to become a nurse. There she met and married Melvin Brink, a navigator stationed at Lackland Air Force base. They settled on a farm south of Enterprise and raised three children.

She worked in Joseph and Enterprise for 24 years, including 12 at Wallowa Memorial Hospital before becoming the county health department administrator and nurse in 1985. She retired in 1997.

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