Posted on 24 March, 2015

Sunday the 22nd March was the moment I became fully committed to the Open Heart International. A part of my heart will forever remain here in Cambodia as I have fallen in love with the children and staff at the hospital in only a couple of days.

It was on the tour of the hospital Sunday afternoon when I saw the enormous, long line of sick children waiting to be seen by Hospital staff the following day, that had the most impact on me.Families slept overnight, outside, waiting to use the free service of the Hospital.

Yesterday two of my fellow sponsors, Andrew and Doug, started the well needed and over due path in the Hospital that would replace the mud. The building of the new path by these two ‘white men’ seem to have created a stir of excitement amongst the waiting children and parents.The families were fascinated by the placing of tiles in cement for hours. A lot of the path was built due to the enthusiasm of a local staff member who kept mixing cement not realising Doug and Andrew had tried to pack up several times for the end of their day.


Photo: (left) Andrew and Doug (Right)

I sharemy job as arts and crafts play therapistwith a gorgeous lady called Renee. We discovered very quickly that stickers are the flavour of the day and you can never have too many! These sessions help you bond very easily with the children and parents while they wait patiently for the operation day to arrive.


Photo: (Left) Jennifer and Renee (Right)

The days go very fast here, before you know it is 4:00pm and it’s time for the afternoon physio session. These are a lot of fun as the kids love the blow up beach balls that we would use to hit over the volleyball net.

Today was a wave of emotion as I had no idea whatthis morning was going to bring. Renee and I were told to hurry up and get to the Hospital as there was a crying child in need of “fun”. It turned out that Renee, Doug and I got to meet the children we sponsored. They wanted to surprise us and that they did. We were allowed to go into the ICU and see how they were progressing after their heart surgery yesterday.

Well my heart needed surgery as it felt like it was being ripped apart by the most overwhelming amount of emotion. The little boy Kirin was lying there recovering with his grandmother watching over him and he looked so small and fragile. The moment I lost it was when his grandmother just touched his face and a little smile came across his face even those his eyes were shut.


The work of all the staff, both Cambodian and Australian is nothing short of amazing. The conditions they work under is nothing like that of Australian hospitals. The nurses and doctors are my heroes, they do work miracles and I got to see that first hand today.

Tags:  Cambodia,