Posted on 27 October, 2013

Team leaving Sydney

It is hard to believe we have have only been in Cambodia for 24 hours and already the team has gelled brilliantly despite the 20 of us coming from various parts of Australia, from very different backgrounds, different ages and different job functions within the team.

The common thread pulling us all together is the fact that everyone is here as a volunteer that has given of their time, money and annual leave in the knowledge that we are working together to change the lives of approximately 15 Cambodian kids that need life saving open heart surgery.

For almost a third of the team this is their first trip with Open Heart International. Despite the fact that these medical professionals work in paedeatric units in hospitals every day as part of their careers, there definitely is a level of fear, apprehension, and uncertainity for some of those team members are feeling. Luckily for us these feelings have been minimised by the confidence and camaraderie exuded by the senior members of the team, several who have been on over 20 OHI trips in the past.

Surgery will begin today, after yesterday’s careful pre-screening process by the surgeons and senior nursing staff to ensure the most appropriate cases are operated on this week with the highest level of success possible.

The team has spent the day preparing themselves for the week ahead which everyone is well aware will be exhausting both physically and mentally but that they are all working together towards a very special goal to teach and support the Cambodian surgeons, doctors and nurses in performing life-saving and often complex open heart surgeries and make a real difference to the lives of these families. Some of us had the opportunity to visit the heritage listed Angkor Wat temples yesterday morning, an amazing experience!

It is a privilige to be part of this project and I look forward to keeping you informed of our progress throughout the week. I aim to share with you the experiences and introduce you to team members, patients, staff of the Angkor Hospital for Children as the week unfolds.

Angkor Wat Temple

Tags:  Cambodia,