MESA, AZ — Mesa nurse Sally Herman strives to make an impact on children's lives with her work with non-profit, Operation Smile.
Sally grew up feeling like the underdog. She was often bullied for her crossed eyes that her parents struggled for years to correct.
Herman remembers, "I always thought if I could make it through school and get my nurse's degree, I'm going to make sure kids have a life and don't have to worry about deformities."
Now 56, Herman did make it through nursing school. She began her career in Illinois before moving to Arizona landing a job as an air rescue nurse.
Unfortunately, Herman was soon devastated when her dream job ended almost as soon as it started.
"I had 6 months laid off and I remembered, I really wanted to do operation smile,” she says.
That layoff brought Herman back to her childhood goal.
Since then, she's traveled the world completing 50 trips with Operation Smile. The non-profit provides safe medical treatment to kids with cleft pallets in underprivileged countries.
Trips last around ten days, and during each trip, Herman and her fellow volunteers fix hundreds of cleft palates. The results are life-changing.
"Bringing those children out from the OR to their parents, they just cry and cry and cry," Herman says.
Now, Herman is back to work as an air rescue nurse but she still volunteers regularly. She says, "I don't see it as a job or hard work. It's just something that I do. They call and I go.”