Posted on 8 May, 2013

This post is by Fiona Hyde, Project Coordinator – Cambodia.

Hello everyone,

I have now been home for a week. It has given me a chance to breathe again, but also reflect on a great trip!

We certainly had a great team and a wonderful experience at Angkor Hospital for Children. And we couldn’t have hoped for a better outcome!

Sure the freight was held up….Most people would be screaming, anxious and infuriated. No not this group….. an emergency box will do our expert along with a dedicated team of promising Cambodian Cardiac Specialists who went to work to ensure the ship sailed. Well done guys, both Australian and Cambodian teams worked exceptionally well together to ensure we got off the ground. For a few days we heard the occasional phrase expressing “it’s in the freight” – however we soon got over it and sought our own measures. I thank you for your patience and understanding and, most of all, your incredible expertise to be able to achieve what we did under the circumstances.

There are so many more memorable moments. From a clinical aspect, we are the first to completely correct a Tetralogy of Fallot, a complex cardiac defect, at Angkor Hospital for Children, perhaps even in Cambodia. All the patients have now been discharged from hospital!

I must take a moment to applaud the doctors and nurses that work at Angkor Hospital for Children, as without your will, desire to learn and cooperation, none of this is possible. It takes a very appreciative and eager team to advance as quickly as you have done.

We have commenced a sponsorship program, with the adorable Vath and Chea, sponsored by Geoff & Jan, and Killara Public School. We are very grateful for your support, and we are looking forward to refining this program a little more in the future. Chea will remain in Siem Reap for his follow-up appointments and will then finally be accepted to an orphanage within his home town, 90km away. And Vath will return home to his twin brother 100km north of Siem Reap after his appointment next week.

As the last of our team members touched down in Australia, the final children that we operated on were discharged from Angkor Hospital for Children. After 15 operations in 5 days, all 14 children are doing very well.

I thank every team member for volunteering for Operation Open Heart Cambodia and sharing your expertise and time. And on behalf of the Australian team I thank the doctors and nurses of AHC for their hospitality and friendship, and allowing us this amazing opportunity to work with you. Each trip we return home with a little bit more of Cambodia in our hearts.

Congratulations everyone and thank you once again for making a difference to the families, patients and staff of Angkor Hospital for Children. As has become a Cambodian team tradition, please enjoy watching the slideshow of our trip (below).


Fi Hyde

Tags:  Cambodia,