Lifestyle

Nurse home from Africa stint

Rinnah Fry with a happy African patient.
Rinnah Fry with a happy African patient. Ryan Chen

BUNDABERG nurse Rinnah Fry has just returned from a two-month stint as a volunteer serving on the world's biggest charity hospital ship moored in the western African nation of Togo.

Global charity Mercy Ships operates the 16,000-tonne Africa Mercy, which provides about 7000 free life-saving surgeries each year in some of the poorest and most undeveloped nations in the world.

Miss Fry, 32, responded to an urgent call for nurses for the Togo assignment.

"When that call came, I thought I would see if it was possible to get time off work. It all fell into place," she said.

It was not an entirely new experience for the Bundaberg Hospital nurse, who has 10 years experience behind her, having served with Mercy Ships in Liberia in 2006.

The fully-contained ship can moor off any country and operate like any modern hospital, with six operating rooms. The vessel is staffed by volunteer doctors, dentists, nurses and other healthcare professionals as well as 15 ex-British Army Gurkhas providing security.

"Volunteers come from all over the world including Canada, the United States, Germany, and New Zealand. There were about 26 Australians," Miss Fry said.

Volunteers must cover the cost of getting to the ship and pay $180 a week for food and accommodation.

Miss Fry said she would recommend the experience to others.

"Not only will it change someone's life, but you will be pleasantly surprised at how it will change you," she said.

"As I worked among patients, removing a dressing, giving medication, I always heard them singing.

"It was a common African song of praise: 'My God you are wonderful, my God you are excellent'."

Miss Fry said she cared for patients recovering from a range of different operations.

"I had to learn to work with translators and to cope with patients' care givers who slept under the hospital beds," she said.

"We are so privileged in Australia, and really don't have any idea of the desperation of so many Africans needing help."

Topics:  africa charity nurse


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Surfer escapes life-threatening injury

Wategos Beach, Byron Bay.

Rescue chopper called off after surfing accident

Learning from the masters

SHOTOKAN INSTRUCTORS: George Rhodes, 72, chief instructor Jean Boussard, Ben Ruble, Jason Miles and Fabio Quijano.

Free martial arts seminar this weekend in Byron Bay

Aussies Helping Animals deliver hope for horses

HORSE RESCUE: Skyla Critchlow, Jack Sadler, Tesse Ferguson from Byron Bay Equestrian Centre, Sky Bright, Constance Attard founder of Aussies Helping Animals, Marion Mawby, Asha Lee-Winton, Adam Mawby and Nemisis. Both Sky Bright and Nemesis were rescued horses.

NEW animal charity makes its first grant to local horse rescue group

Local Partners

Byron Public is chalking up a major milestone

Who is the oldest living ex-pupil from Byron Public? The school celebrates its 125th anniversary this September and wants you to be part of the celebration.

REVIEW: Under the Gun doco looks at right to bear arms

ARMED: A still from the 2016 documentary film Under the Gun by Stephanie Soechtig.

An in-depth look into America's gun culture.

Messing with your head

MIND BLOWN: What could be weirder than the realisation that we have another completely separate brain and nervous system than the one originating in our heads?

Fascinating connection between your gut and your brain

Sir Elton John coming to Mackay: What you need to know

Sir Elton will come to Mackay and Cairns in September.

Tickets to the concert go on sale on March 14

Buderim dad rejects gay son's emotional plea for second time

Bride and Prejudice: Son’s emotional plea rejected again by unmoved father

What's on the big screen this week

Ewan McGregor and Jonny Lee Miller in a scene from the movie T2: Trainspotting.

This week's new releases offer plenty of variety for movie buffs.

REVIEW: Under the Gun doco looks at right to bear arms

ARMED: A still from the 2016 documentary film Under the Gun by Stephanie Soechtig.

An in-depth look into America's gun culture.

Hodges proud to be part of first channel dedicated to NRL

Justin Hodges is gearing up for his new gig on Fox League.

Footy star hopes to provide a voice for players on new NRL channel

Furious Price wants to quit I'm a Celeb after clash with Keira

Steve Price has threatened to quit the jungle.

Will camp ration clash with Keira cause Steve to call it quits?

Novel with lots of heart

The romance in A Quiet Kind of Thunder was only one of the joys of the book.

Book proves to be a gem with layers

Bliss N Eso announce tribute show for stuntman

Bliss N Eso will play a tribute show at Coolangatta in honour of Johann Ofner. The stuntman died during the filming of the group's Friend Like You film clip earlier this year.

BLISS N Eso to play tribute show to raise funds for killed stuntman

$140k damage: landlord says property trashed, contaminated

He had what he calls "the tenants from hell"

Submarine, buses and 3000 tyres removed in $100K clean up

The list of things removed from this property is beyond astonishing

Popular island resort sells to loaded international investor

OUR PICK: Chris Foey's colourful shot of one of Gladstone's great tourism hot spots, Heron Island.

International investor snaps up piece of Gladstone paradise.

Potential home buyers punished for doing the 'right thing'

Should I go to university or buy a house?

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!