WCS-001: Patty Webster is saving lives in the Amazon


patty websterJoin us as Patty Webster shares amazing stories about her work with Amazon Promise to bring medical care and health education to the people of the Amazon.

About Patty Webster:

In the early 1990s, Patty Webster became a tour guide in the Peruvian Amazon. Soon after her arrival, she noticed a desperate unmet need for medical care. Patty began sharing her own equipment and supplies and was soon waking up to find people outside her mosquito net asking for medicine. Before long, Patty had started Amazon Promise, an organization dedicated to bringing free health care to one of the poorest parts of the world. Braving floods and flies, snakes and poor sanitation, Patty leads medical volunteers to the Amazon jungle. There, her teams hold clinics in remote villages and urban slums where they provide love, medical, dental and psychological care, along with health education. Her medical teams, which include the likes of the healing clown, Dr. Patch Adams, and renowned storyteller and psychiatrist, Carl Hammerschlag have helped approximately 120,000 people. In 2010 Patty was named a CNN Hero.


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Personal Mantra:

Expect the unexpected. (Anything and everything will and does happen in the jungle)

Never get out of the boat unless you’re going the whole way. ~ Apocalypse Now

When she almost gave up:

Had set up a clinic in a new neighborhood in the city. They had been requested by the area leaders to come there. But when they were on-site to set up the clinic, a group of criminals had incited the villagers to riot against them, claiming Amazon Promise is the devil and that the villagers’ children would bear the sign of 666 after getting vaccination shots. The criminals stirred things up in order to steal the organization’s medical equipment. Amazon Promise lost a lot of expensive equipment and supplies this way. But Patty got her team safe, salvaged what equipment and supplies they could, opened the next day to continue their life-saving medical work – AND brought the criminals to trial. The criminals were put in jail.

When she knows the work she is doing is making a difference:

Whenever a child comes in who’s dying from dehydration – has diarrhea, his eyes are rolled back, and a few hours after an IV is administered, the child is eating and playing with his brothers and sisters.

Or when they’ve been able to intervene and help abused women who live in the middle of the jungle with no access to counseling and no one to defend them and their children.

Practical Advice:

Be completely committed and secure in what you are doing, then you will overcome any failures or roadblocks – you’ll learn from them. Also, have a plan. Gather a team of people who are as committed to the ideal as you are.

Recommended books:

Where There Is No Doctor

Personal Practice That Keeps her Going on the Tough Days

What keeps Patty going is the inspiration she gets from everyone she works with and serves.

Tools or Technology:

Skype, Facebook. Always partner with other organizations – brings so much improvement to what you’re doing and allows you to do a better job.

Nomination for Upcoming World Changer Sessions Guest:

Jane Goodall

Gene Bauer

Ronan Farrow

Jeffrey Sachs

Céline Cousteau

Neil DeGrasse Tyson

Molly Mednikow, Amazon Cares

Founders of the Pachamama Alliance

How to get in touch with Patty:

Website: Amazonpromise.org

Amazon Promise on Facebook