Sandy nurses volunteer internationally
Sam and Kristen are two Sandringham theatre nurses who have taken their skills international, volunteering overseas to assist surgeries for those who don't have access to healthcare.
It was one of thousands of incredible moments from her stint volunteering in Phnom Penh, where she spent two weeks assisting with eye surgeries at the Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hospital. In just six days, she assisted 503 cataract surgeries.
Kristen has recently returned to work as a theatre nurse at Sandringham Hospital while her colleague, Sam, has just departed on a Mercy Ship mission off the coast of Senegal in Africa. While the pair have been long-time friends, preparing for their volunteering adventures and fundraising along the way has brought them closer.
“I’m super nervous but also excited to meet new people with the same focus and drive,” Sam said before she left.
“I was really nervous as well but also really excited – now I’m planning on going back every two years to volunteer,” Kristen said.
The Mercy Ship is a hospital ship that travels the globe, staffed with qualified volunteers who perform life-changing surgeries for people who don’t have access to healthcare. On Friday Sam set off on a 30-hour to Dakar, where she transferred to the ship in Senegal.
Kristen’s trip, which was organised through Australian Health Humanitarian Aid (AHHA), was “life-changing”. As well as assisting with surgeries, she went on humanitarian trips to provide villages with water filters and other basic supplies.
“It was an absolute honour to be there,” she said.