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.

Sex attacker slapped with strict supervision upon release

Violent sex offender's life after jail no walk in the park

Nationals will not stop Essential Energy job cuts

Essential Energy workers are facing forced redundancies within weeks, according to unions.

Nationals leader rules out blocking Essential Energy's 600 job cuts

Military-style shark first aid kits on stand-by for surfers

Specialised shark kits will be on stand-by when the Byron Bay Boardriders paddle out tomorrow.

"As club president I have a responsibility to protect members”

Local Partners

Getting our kids involved with native fauna protection

NORTH Coast Local Land Services and Byron Bird Buddies are working together to encourage the community to talk about how to protect Byron's native fauna.

Brunswick Heads set to dance to reggae

RHYTHM: Brisbane five-piece band Kingfisha.

Kingfisha brings their new music

Jethro Tull is getting ready for Bluesfest 2017

ICONS: Jethro Tull is a British rock group formed in Luton, Bedfordshire, in December 1967.

At Bluesfest 2017, the band will play songs from 1968 to 2016

Local arts organisations receive funding for 2017 projects

Djurra will be NORPA's locally-developed show in its 2017 season.

Byron Bay and Lismore initiatives focus on aboriginal art

Jennifer Lawrence gives keys to new partner

Oscar winner Jennifer Lawrence

Oscar winner settling down with new partner

Rogue One star proud to lead new Star Wars film

Felicity Jones leads the new Star Wars film

Star Wars lead proud to be in front in sci-fi

What's on the small screen this week

Ernie Dingo stars in the TV series Going Places with Ernie Dingo.

ERNIE Dingo stars in a new travel series and Seven airs the AACTAs.

Mandy Moore feels like she's 60

Mandy Moore sees herself as a 60-year-old rather than a 32-year-old

Goooodbye Hamish and Andy (from our radios)

Hamish and Andy

The pair have been on air since 2006

David Attenborough on facing his mortality

Sir David Attenborough in a scene from the TV special The Death of the Oceans.

Life without Sir David Attenborough is hard to imagine

Chinese locked out of Australian property market

The rules are different if you're a foreigner

The buyer was from China - the trouble started right there

Morrison signs off on new affordable rental model

Australia's Treasurer Scott Morrison speaks during a press conference after a meeting of the Council of Federal Financial Relations at Parliament House in Canberra, Friday, Dec. 2, 2016.

Scott Morrison signed off on development of a new financing model

Coast high-flyer's fight back from bankruptcy, $72m debt

Scott Juniper went from millionaire developer to declaring bankruptcy in2012, now he is back on top of his game again with new developments including this one in Coolum.

'Apocalyptic lending storm' causes financial collapse.

How your home can earn you big $$$$ this Christmas

This luxury Twin Waters home rents out over Christmas for more than $6000 a week.

Home owners earning thousands renting out their homes this Christmas

2000 jobs at multi-million dollar Ipswich project

INSIDE: Artist's impressions of the interior of the new Eastern Heights aged care precinct.

Sub-contractors needed to build $15m aged care facility

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!