Jayne Rogers - Registered Nurse
That’s me on the left!
I am a Registered Nurse working in the Operating Theatres of Tweed Heads Hospital. I am also a devoted supporter of the organisation A4WH and its inspiring Director Dr Ray Hodgson.
I was privileged to be a volunteer member of the A4WH surgical camp to Eastern Nepal in March 2011.
This camp proved to be a life-changing experience not only for the amazing women and their families in Nepal, but for myself and the generous people who donated their time and funds to this very worthwhile cause.
Ray is an extremely energetic and inspirational man and as part of his team, I found an ability to rise to challenges and help develop innovative solutions to problems as they arose. This proved to be a wonderful personal development opportunity which I hope to repeat many times over. A4WH provided a safe environment in a remote area which allowed our team to work efficiently and gave us the wonderful opportunity to be part of the community in this region of Nepal.
A4WH is determined to continue this work and I will continue to assist in any capacity I can. Many thanks to you Ray for giving me this amazing experience!
Louise Harper - Registered Nurse
It was my absolute privilege to be part of the A4WH camp in Solukhumbu, Nepal.
The conditions we endured were very harsh with near freezing conditions, very basic accommodation and food. We worked in a hospital where we would face enormous challenges with cleanliness, limited surgical equipment and sterility. We would come to know just how creative we could be in stretching our resources, where ‘recycling’ came to take on a meaning that the developed world would simply not comprehend.
Our patients walk for up to a week to reach our camp for treatment; there is no other way for them. Their genital damage is so horribly disfiguring it could almost make you cry. But after their surgery it is simply sensational to see their gorgeous faces light up. Their dignity is restored and they can return to a productive life. These women express their gratitude in such moving ways: they hug you so earnestly; some even do a little dance and play happy music for us in the post op ward!
I feel so proud to be part of a team that can create such profound changes to a woman’s life. Just as these women can’t express their thanks in words because they speak no English, I can’t express my absolute joy in helping them because there are no words that can really describe this magical feeling.
Since that first camp our director, Ray Hodgson has broadened the scope of the foundation. He saw there were other major problems in women’s health – particularly maternal health – and we needed to make a big difference here too. ‘Australians for Women’s Health’ is now the major foundation holding ‘Prolapse Down Under’ under its umbrella.
In 2011 I turned 50. I decided that I would celebrate this milestone by giving to others – I knew that by giving one also receive. I guess I didn’t realise that this experience – working with Dr Ray and his foundation – would give me such a deep sense of worth, such a warm lasting feeling, an experience that has left me with a feeling of intense humility. This all leaves me no other course but to join him in his tireless fight for these women, raising awareness and funds to enable this incredible, life-changing work to continue.
So, Dr Ray: from the bottom of my heart – thank you!