Cook Children's Pediatrician Provides Collaborative Care on Medical Mission Trip
Carrie Pyle, D.O., a pediatrician at Cook Children’s Pediatrics Walsh Ranch, recently returned from a medical mission trip to Kenya where she provided collaborative care to patients of all ages. During her time there, Dr. Pyle and her team worked tirelessly to treat a variety of illnesses and conditions. Her experience in Kenya left a lasting impact on both her and the community she served.
By Carrie Pyle, D.O.
I had the opportunity to go on a medical mission trip to Migori, Kenya through an organization called Kenya Relief. The organization operates an orphanage, a school and a medical clinic.
Nearly every two weeks, a medical mission team travels to Migori to spend about four days working in the clinic. The teams are made up of outpatient providers, surgeons of different specialties, anesthesiologists, nurses and surgical techs. My team included a surgeon, two podiatrists, six certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs), a family nurse practitioner, a radiologist, a sonographer, a social worker and myself.
I was able to go on the trip with my husband, Garrett Dupree, who is a CRNA. He provided anesthesia to surgical patients.
My whole experience was incredibly challenging and humbling. I saw kids ranging in age from a couple of months old to young adults. I saw patients with conditions I had only studied in textbooks but had never seen in real life. Because we did not have internet access to our usual online resources, I had to rely on my knowledge and advice from my team to care for these patients. We were able to work through this obstacle as a team and brainstorm ways to work together to provide better care.
Some days I saw some very heartbreaking cases. One of the first patients I saw was a young girl who has never been able to walk. Since she was an infant, she has experienced seizures intermittently and hadn’t received any treatment. We had a long conversation and answered some of the family’s long-term questions, even though the prognosis wasn't the answer they had hoped for.
I also saw another young girl who had developed a very serious bone infection called osteomyelitis, which caused swelling and drainage in her knee. She never received treatment to cure the infection. She needed to go to a children’s hospital immediately for antibiotics and possibly surgery to save her leg and prevent the potentially life-threatening infection from spreading.
Sending her to this hospital posed a significant financial burden to the family, but they were determined to get their child the care she needed. Together as a team, we helped the family cover the cost so that she could start treatment. By the time our team left, she was slowly improving.
Overall, my time in Migori was incredibly heartwarming and heartbreaking at the same time. Every patient we saw was so kind and grateful to be heard and to receive help. At the same time, I was really shocked by the degree of poverty and the significant barriers to medical care that are accepted as the norm for Kenyans. They’re faced with decisions to either have food on the table, send their children to school or receive medical care, and oftentimes, medical care is chosen last. I left Kenya feeling grateful for the high quality and comparably easier access to medical care that we have here in the States.
Get to know Carrie Pyle, D.O.
Dr. Carrie (Caryn) Pyle knew she wanted to be a doctor shortly after opening up her career aptitude test results in the 8th grade. After clarifying that the results said "physician" and not "physicist" as she initially thought, she excitedly set her biggest life goal yet to become a doctor. The passion to enter medicine grew through high school and blossomed during her undergraduate education at Baylor University as she began volunteering at medical clinics in the community and realizing the impact that a dedicated physician can have for their patients. Following undergrad, she began her medical education at the Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine (TCOM) in Fort Worth.
During these years, Dr. Pyle found a love for pediatric medicine that quickly shaped her career path. From newborn babies to teenagers graduating high school, she enjoyed engaging with kids of all ages and their parents. Following medical school, she completed her pediatric residency training at the University of Illinois at Chicago. After a thorough yet challenging residency, thanks mostly to a global pandemic, she is excited to be moving back home to Texas to rejoin her family in Houston and Dallas and to begin her dream career as an outpatient pediatrician.
She has been married to her husband, Garrett Dupree, since 2019 and looks forward to beginning their family in a few years. During her free time, she enjoys learning the lessons of first-time home ownership, hiking, traveling, cooking, and spending as much time as she can with her family – especially her two nephews.
Dr. Pyle has a passion for serving the medical needs of kids of all ages. Her goal as a pediatrician is to build trust with her patients and their families, working together towards the common goal of keeping kids healthy, happy and safe.