The reflection below is written by Yi Luo, a rising third year Bonner who has elected to continue his commitment to serve with his community partners while in Lexington for a research position this summer.
Written By: Yi Luo
This summer, I’m staying in Lexington to do research and study yeast apoptosis (cell suicide). My interest in studying apoptosis lies with learning about the broken mechanism of apoptosis that leads to cancer. Currently, my professor and I have been working on developing a faster and more efficient way of detecting yeast apoptosis rate that can save money and time in yeast apoptosis research.
At night, I have been working at the Carillion Stonewall Jackson Hospital. The hospital serves the general public of the Rockbridge and Lexington community. I help patients with directions and transport people in wheel chairs. While working, I noticed that people that are less well to do seem to frequent the emergency room far more often. For example, for several consecutive weeks, a different member of one family was admitted to the emergency room. Perhaps, it’s mere coincidence or perhaps they lack better healthcare options and waits until their illness is severe to be treated. In addition, I noticed that many working families are very busy, which led to leaving their family member at the emergency room to go back to work. Many injuries are related to menial labors; it might be the nature of the emergency room or a related issue of the work available in Rockbridge. Although it’s hard to compare the hospital ED to the Free Clinic, I would like to work at the Rockbridge clinic on Thursday night to observe what patients and injuries are treated there in the future.
Another common sight are elderlies at the hospital. For some, the elderlies are lucky to have family nearby to take them to the hospital. For others, the elderlies have to take themselves to the hospital. This reminds me of my time at the Heritage Hall, I noticed that these elderlies are a major population of Lexington and Rockbridge. I think it might be due to the preference of city over rural areas for young people. As a result, these elderlies are much farther away from their families compared to those who live in the city. This reminds me that I want to go back to work at the Heritage Hall when my schedule allows.