News

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.

What's fresh at your local farmers' market

The pecan harvest is just beginning, so you will find a good selection at the markets from now. PHOTO: KATE O'NEILL

Pecans and cauliflowers among the new buys, as well as a great tea

A ballet event of lovers and fairies in Byron Bay

ON STAGE: Byron Ballet's 10th anniversary production will be Shakespeare's A Midnight Summer's Dream.

Byron Ballet celebrates 10 years

First Fire firing on all cylinders

Owner Michael McGrath and trainer John Dart were all smiles after a win at the Casino greyhounds meeting on Tuesday night. PHOTO: TARRAH VANDERSTOK

Owner Michael McGrath and trainer John Dart all smiles at Casino

Local Partners

Ten awesome things to do this week

THE list includes from Mr Beef in Casino to Byron Bay Rugby, plus some great classic music event and other community events.

Chicago comes to Bangalow

CELL BLOCK TANGO: Actress Catherine Zeta-Jones in a scene from the 2002 film Chicago.

The next production by Bangalow Theatre Company

What to expect at Birds of Tokyo's Ipswich gig

The band will perform at the Racehorse Hotel on Friday.

BAND member Glen Sarangapany talks music, pub grub and doing shoeys

Mullum's hit cabaret duo Peter and Bambi

COMEDY: Asher Treleaven (La Soirée) and Gypsy Wood (Miss Cage Dance Universe Australia) are Peter & Bambi Heaven.

If David Copperfield and Claudia Schiffer were from this area

Baywatch: Lifeguards with model looks return for 'filthy fun'

TWO chiselled men emerge from the surf. One looks like a god. The other, well, he's gasping for air and doesn't realise there's a jellyfish on his chest.

Chicago comes to Bangalow

CELL BLOCK TANGO: Actress Catherine Zeta-Jones in a scene from the 2002 film Chicago.

The next production by Bangalow Theatre Company

Model Bella Hadid's see-through dress shocks in Cannes

US model Bella Hadid attends the Cinema Against AIDS amfAR gala 2017 held at the Hotel du Cap, Eden Roc in Cap d'Antibes, France, 25 May 2017.

It’s like she’s become addicted to shock value.

No room for morbid fans

Chris Cornell.

Fans want to stay in the hotel room where Chris Cornell died

A ballet event of lovers and fairies in Byron Bay

ON STAGE: Byron Ballet's 10th anniversary production will be Shakespeare's A Midnight Summer's Dream.

Byron Ballet celebrates 10 years

Star Wars' 1977 Stormtrooper head banger confesses

A Stormtrooper is responsible for the biggest blunder in a Star Wars movie. Picture: Supplied

Man in most famous blooper in Star Wars history breaks silence

Wild and unknown from Sara Tindley

SONGS FROM THE HEART: Singer Songwriter Sara Tindley.

Local singer songwriter unveils new album

Here's your chance to carp about feral pests

Carp might by great fun to catch but they're destroying Australia's watercourses.

Science in the Pub looks at carp and coral trees

SNEAK PEEK: What new shopping centre is going to look like

Artist impression of the proposed redevelopment of the cinema and shopping complex on Jonson St, Byron Bay.

Mercato billed as regional NSW's most sustainable shopping complex

How Toowoomba house prices compare in Australia

For sale sign in front of home.

Here's what $700,000 will buy you in Toowoomba, Brisbane and Sydney

Slaves in Byron: The dark side of housing crisis

Housing generic.

A darker side to Byron's economy

One of Maryborough's most historic homes is still for sale

FULL OF HISTORY: Trisha Moulds is owner of the historic Tinana state known as Rosehill. The beautiful home is currently for sale.

It has been the scene of both joy and tragedies over the years.

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!