Emergency Room Nurse Headed On A Mission Of Mercy

When Joel Turner looks out over the calm waters of the Mississippi Sound, his mind drifts to another body of water, the Indian Ocean the day after Christmas.

"The ocean was calm just like we see here and all of a sudden this unimaginable fury that the ocean released, and I can't help but think about how startling that was for the people who survived it and endured through it," he says.

Turner will soon get to see for himself. He is taking a leave of absence from his nursing job to travel to India, the country of his birth, and where he spent his childhood.

"It does put a very personal touch on it. I have been contacted by people who have been directly affected, who have lost their family members, who have lost many relatives and they are requesting any help that they can give."

Turner says the graphic images of the tsunami's devastation we've seen over and over both frustrate him and drive him to help.

"That is really the purpose of my trip there, so that some way I can do some hands on work. Like I say, all of my emergency nurse's skills will be tested to the limit. Just to help them, and particularly the children who have been orphaned by this tragedy."

Turner says he will spend at least a month in India and perhaps longer. He traveled to the Indian consulate in Houston to get a visa and he's caught up on his innoculations. Turner says he's finalizing his travel plans and will leave in about two weeks.