Lynn Miller, a staff nurse at Glasgow's New Victoria Hospital, overcame a life-threatening condition to make the trip of a lifetime.
The 40-year-old's life was in the balance when she was rushed to the Victoria Infirmary for emergency surgery to prevent a non-healing wound from bursting.
If left untreated she could have contracted septicemia, potentially fatal blood poisoning.
However Lynn, who lives in the city's Shawlands with her husband Gerry, also 40, and son Dean, 20, battled back to health to make the week-long mercy mission to the Brazilian city of Recife for the Christian charity Happy Child International.
She said: "I turned 40 recently and have always been interested in certain Brazil street kids' projects and supported these by direct debit.
"Last year I thought, I'm getting older, if I don't do something here, I'll never do it.'
"Just before I went I was still recovering from my op and I needed antibiotics.
"I was fit to fly, but let's just say I could have been better.But once I got to Brazil, my wound healed and all the infection is away."
During a recent charity event – which had Still Game actress Jane McCarry, who plays Isa in the comedy series, as a special guest – Lynn raised £900 which would go towards at-risk Brazilian kids.
With donations from more than 140 doctors, nurses and admin staff, she filled three bags with 79kg of football boots, tops, knitted hats, toys and arts and crafts for boys at the Recife Happy Child refuge centre.
They also received a new football table, which Lynn had bought for them.
She said: "I absolutely adored my time out there - I loved the kids and I've got to say they're very well looked after and they're very loving.
"They've certainly been through the mill, but Happy Child tries to reinstate them back with their families or find another option.
"They don't just put them out the door, they heal them and look after them until there's a good ending."
Lynn stayed in the centre, which houses 10 young boys aged between five and 17 and also provides wide-reaching support for their families in the community.
Also on the trip with her was a lawyer from London, Deborah Lashley-Bobb, who also raises charity money.
Lynn said: "There was a spare room in the centre and I stayed there with Deborah and the boys used to call us Tia, which means Auntie.
"They give you big cuddles as they're very happy with life after their traumatic backgrounds."
There are an estimated 25 million street kids in Brazil who continually face hardship such as physical and sexual abuse, drugs, trafficking and even murder.
Happy Child International was set up in 1993 by Sarah de Carvalho, who left her job with the BBC to help street kids in Belo Horizonte city.
Their aim is to set up centres for at-risk children and work towards making them self-sustaining.
They have rescued more than 8500 children worldwide, including children, young mums and babies and also helped girls, some as young as 11, escape the vice trade.
Caroline Taylor, donor and supporter relationship manager, said: "It's always fantastic when supporters go out and visit the work, it means people are engaging personally with our vision.
"It really motivates them - they come back here and they're all fired up and, like Lynn, they can start up fundraising initiatives."
Happy Child also intend to open two more centres in Recife this year, one for young pregnant women on the street and another for teenage boys on the street.
Lynn wants to continue the good work and to raise £16,000 to buy the boys a camper van and a snooker table.
She added: "This is my focus: my family, my work and Happy Child.
"The trip was a such a success - out of this world."
To donate £1, text 70070 with the message JCKM58 £1 or visit www.justgiving.com /Lynn-Miller1