A medical University Student applied to us to help fund a trip to Ghana, to gain experience volunteering in a hospital. This is the feedback she gave us:
With your donation, I was able to experience things I never even dreamed of experiencing. Working in the hospital out in Ghana was such a surreal experience. I worked quite closely with the maternity/obstetrics and gynaecology team as this was the ward which was the most action-packed 24/7! I did night shifts, worked long days into the late hours of the evenings just to ensure I got the most out of my short time there. I was able to assist in deliveries - both natural births and caesarean sections. I was able to witness many emergency surgeries, support with pre- and post-operative care as well as supporting doctors with ward rounds etc. The list is endless!
During my time in Ghana, I saw some really traumatizing events. Having patients becoming severely ill with malaria but having no blood pressure monitoring equipment reliable enough to confidently monitor and guide care for patients was one of the worst. Without access to basic monitoring equipment, patients, particularly those who were pregnant, were at serious risk. After seeing this, I made an effort to do a small collection whilst out in Ghana and raised £1000 in 48 hours. After receiving this, some other medical students and I travelled to a larger city and purchased some equipment for the A&E and Maternity wards (all items purchased had been placed on a list which we asked for). All of this was documented, and photos have been attached which show me handing over equipment with the other girls I worked with to make it happen. You will also see some other photos of me handing over scrubs and hand-sanitiser, both of which I was lucky enough to work with companies in the UK in order to get a small set of donations out there to Ghana.
Some of the staff I worked with felt it important that it was documented how hard I worked and some quotes from what they have written about me are seen below:
'Since I took charge of the maternity ward 4 years ago, I have had an encounter with a lot of volunteers who honestly, I won't even remember when asked of their names. This year a lot came with different names, but Lucy will remain with me forever.'
'She is resilient, hardworking, smart and kind. she works through her struggles and will not accept pity in any form.'
'Lucy is the first volunteer to start doing night shifts, from which the other volunteers followed. The first volunteer to start afternoon shifts and again the other volunteers followed.'
'She takes initiative with everything before you even say it. All the staff loved her.'
I also volunteered in the local school working with a small class of children - I taught them the lifecycle of the butterfly and we read The Very Hungry Caterpillar!
I speak from my heart when I say there is no way I would've been able to gain all the experience from all the things I did if it hadn't been for the support, I received from people like yourselves. I hope you can see the pure happiness in my smile and in doing so realise that the small impact you feel you have made has had a humongous impact on me as an individual! I truly believe this trip has changed my life and I look forward to seeing how it positively impacts my training/medical practice going forward.
I honestly and truly appreciate everything you have done and cannot thank you enough.