Nadine’s mercy is making a difference

Nadine Millar is making a difference to young lives in Africa

Nadine Millar is making a difference to young lives in Africa

For Nadine Millar, helping others less fortunate than herself is a passion. That’s why two years ago, the intensive care nurse from The Prince Charles Hospital decided to broaden her horizons by volunteering her skills to help improve the health outcomes of people living in developing countries.

The registered nurse joined Mercy Ships, the world’s largest non-governmental hospital ship that provides free surgical care and training to developing nations in Africa. Mercy Ships and its volunteers work to bring ‘hope and healing to the world’s forgotten poor’ serving all people, without regard for race, gender or religion.

Nadine has just returned from eight weeks in Sierra Leone, Africa, her second time in two years, providing nursing care to hundreds of adults and children with health conditions and ailments not treatable through the local healthcare system.

She was one of around 150 health professionals from over 40 countries volunteering on the hospital ship to support the surgical treatment of adult and paediatric patients with various conditions. Surgical specialties provided include maxillofacial, orthopaedics, plastic reconstructive, ophthalmic, dental, obstetric fistula and palliative care.

Nadine said that treating patients in a place like Africa was a very different and often confronting experience.

“Many of the patients we cared for had conditions we never see in Australia, such as large facial tumours and deformities, bowed legs, burn contractures and large thyroid tumours,” Nadine said.

“Unlike Australia, patients do not have the ability to access the necessary healthcare during the early stages of their disease process due to a lack of specialist healthcare and technology.

“It means that most people live with debilitating and painful conditions for years without assessment or treatment, sometimes causing other life affecting complications.

“Some people are even cast out from society because of their health conditions – it is very sad.”

For the humanitarian nurse, using her skills to help disadvantaged people live normal lives again is a great privilege. One of her most memorable moments of her recent trip was seeing a young child see for the first time after having their cataracts removed.

“The look on the child’s face was priceless, one of awe and amazement. They realised they had a bright future ahead,” Nadine said.

“It is wonderful to help bring so much joy to people who are so grateful to be healthy and live a normal life again – you can’t measure it.

“It makes me so unbelievably thankful for the easy access we have to reliable, safe and advanced healthcare in Australia.”

2024-05-14T10:21:14+10:0014 May 2024|
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