We are writing with heavy hearts to share news of the passing of our dear friend and longtime medical volunteer Lisa Poppell, RN. Lisa passed away at home in her sleep on December 22 after battling cancer.

The Scottish poet Thomas Campbell wrote, “To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die.” Lisa’s spirit will live on figuratively in our hearts – and literally in the hearts of the many children whose post-operative care she managed.

Lisa was an integral and much-loved part of Heart to Heart’s pediatric cardiac intensive care nursing team. She traveled with us to Russia ten times in six years, helping develop programs in Samara, Rostov-on-Don, and Tomsk. Lisa often worked the night shift on missions, watching over our most vulnerable little patients through the nights following their open heart surgeries. During her all-night shifts, Lisa served as the lone Heart to Heartnik in the hospital.

Lisa highly valued education, and gladly devoted her personal vacation time to teach on Heart to Heart missions. The young Russian nurses in the pediatric cardiac ICU expressed gratitude for Lisa’s generosity of spirit as she shared her extensive knowledge of pediatric cardiac medicine.

Lisa enjoyed the Russian banya (communal bath house) tradition. She and her close friends and colleagues, Janet Simsic and Brenda Jarvis, became our original three “Banya Babes.” Lisa’s big smile, generosity, and sense of humor brought warmth to every mission she participated in. We are honored that she chose to work so closely with Heart to Heart, and we will all dearly miss our “Georgia Peach.”

Lisa Angelique Poppell
May 18, 1967 – December 22, 2015