In this file photo, Mallory Archer is shown taking vital signs during a mission trip to the Philippines.
In this file photo, Mallory Archer is shown taking vital signs during a mission trip to the Philippines.
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UMMC nursing alumna to provide care in Ukraine

Published on Monday, May 9, 2022

By: Annie Oeth,

Like many, Mallory Archer watched the Russian invasion of Ukraine in horror. She then acted, helping to raise thousands of dollars for medical supplies in support of her trip there to provide nursing care.

Skilled as an emergency and critical care nurse, Archer earned her BSN from the School of Nursing at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in 2014. She worked in UMMC’s adult emergency department after graduation and moved to Critical Care Transport in 2017. The contract RN has been working in the emergency department of Merit Health Natchez since 2021.

Mallory Archer is shown during her years working at UMMC.
Mallory Archer is shown during her years working at UMMC.

Archer arrives at Rzeszow, Poland, along the Ukrainian border, May 15, and will go from there to a secondary location. The medical mission is organized by the nonprofit group Making a Difference in Uganda.

Seeing the opportunity to treat those injured in Ukraine in a nursing Facebook group, Archer couldn’t scroll past it. “I had no hesitation,” she said. “When I look at what is happening in Ukraine, I see a country in desperate need of love right now. One of my greatest joys in life is loving on people. It’s one of the reasons I chose nursing as a career. Being able to use it in a situation such as this is an honor.”

Archer has been consistently sharing a fundraiser on Facebook to help in paying for needed medical supplies with a goal of $5,000. Since donations soared past that goal, the target was raised to $7,500 and then to $10,000. To date, more than $8,500 has been raised.

Some of the items to be purchased through the fundraiser include tourniquets, bandages, hemostatic combat gauze, decompression needles, burn bandages, dressings, nonwoven adhesive tape, sterile wipes, IV systems for blood transfusion, flexible splints and personal protective equipment such as gloves and masks.

“We’ll be treating injuries suffered during the ongoing invasion,” Archer said. “We’ll be treating civilians – men, women, senior citizens and children.”

Archer’s decision to go to Ukraine doesn’t come as a surprise to Gordon Gartrell, nurse manager of the Children’s of Mississippi pediatric intensive care unit and a colleague while both worked in the adult emergency department at UMMC.

Gordon Gartrell

“Mallory is a very dedicated, no-nonsense nurse,” he said. “This doesn’t surprise me at all, given her bravery and character. She is definitely someone you would want by your side in an emergency, and she will do great work in an area where care is needed.”

Archer’s 9-year-old Australian Shepherd Lucy will stay with her parents, Marc and Tana Archer of Vidalia, Louisiana, while she’s away.

“I think there’s a mixture of emotions from everyone,” she said. “Obviously, they’re concerned for my safety, considering I’m heading into a war zone. However, everyone has been very supportive and has expressed how proud for me they are.”

Social media and her cellphone may be how Archer stays in touch during her time in Poland and Ukraine. “That’s dependent on the demands of the mission,” she said.

Archer said she’s aware of the risks.

“Besides the fact that there’s a war happening, I’ll be flying to a foreign country by myself and joining a group of people I have never met before, so that makes me a little anxious,” she said. “Despite those things, I am just really grateful to be a part of something so amazing. I thank God for the opportunity, and I pray that we are able to bring comfort and healing to a community that’s living its worst nightmare.”