story & photo
by Maren Schober
“I think I have just the volunteer you are looking for,” states Mary Rahaim, Director of Volunteers at Backus Hospital in Norwich. “Her name is Alexis Wojtcuk and she comes here every Friday for the whole day. She does anything that is needed to be done.”
I am immediately impressed by Lexie, as she likes to be called. For a high school sophomore at the age of 15, she is very focused on what she wants to do in life.
“I have always wanted to do something in the medical field,” Lexie informs me. “At Backus Hospital, I am getting plenty of opportunity to learn about this occupation and I know I definitely want to pursue a career in this field.”
“I am a Jr. Volunteer in the Escort Service,” Lexie continues. “I run all kinds of errands in the hospital and I literally walk laps from one end of the hospital to the other end. This gives me plenty of exercise! There are also lots of healthy choices for break and lunch in the cafeteria.”
Lexie explains specifically about her errands at Backus Hospital. “I discharge patients, going to their rooms and wheeling them to the exit of the hospital. One time I was discharging a patient who was so enthusiastic about leaving that he literally jumped out of the wheelchair at the front exit shouting for joy!”
“I also make patient medical charts and transport records from one department to another. Some days it is very tiring work and some days like today it is totally rewarding. I am learning to be patient because a lot of times patients don’t feel well or they are in pain,” said Lexie. “What I like best about what I do is the fact that I am helping people.”
Lexie has another strong interest. “Both my parents and my older sister are involved with the Civil Air Patrol,” shares Lexie, “so I learned about CAP at a very young age. My mother told me you had to be 12-years-old to join and for some reason I remembered that. This became a strong hope and dream inside me. On the day of my twelfth birthday, I got dressed up and went to breakfast.”
“‘Why are you all dressed up?’ asked my mother. ‘Because I am 12-years-old now and today I am joining the Civil Air Patrol’ This was a great surprise to my mother. ‘You are?!’ she asked astounded.”
Lexie loves her community service work in the Air Patrol. “I am a Cadet Chief Master Sergeant,” explains Lexie, “and a member of the Ground Team. “It is very strange. Although I am afraid of heights, I love flying and being in an airplane. It does not bother me. I take flying lessons and learn how to respond in different kinds of emergency rescue.”
Lexie is a hard working volunteer in our community. I know she will go after the dreams of her heart and find joy and purpose in life.