There are some incredible nurses out there who do great things at home and abroad. And we’re over the moon about ICU Nurse Louise Burke and the journey she undertook.
Last year 15 nurses, doctors, paramedics and other health professionals took part in the inaugural Trans-Timor Trek for healthy hearts, which supports the work of East Timor Hearts Fund (a charity partner to our sister organisation ANMF). East Timor Hearts Fund is Australia’s only medical NGO dedicated to providing life-saving heart surgery for young Timorese, as well as heart health prevention, education and research projects.
The trek is on again July-August and nurses and other health professionals are again encouraged to get involved.
The challenging 135km trek from one side of Timor-Leste (East Timor) to the other includes a summit attempt on Mt Ramelau, Timor-Leste’s highest peak (2986 metres). Participants will also get to see the preventative health work of East Timor Heart Fund, meeting the local health workers who run the preventative rheumatic heart disease penicillin program and the patients who are receiving life-changing treatment.
Louise took part in the inaugural Trans-Timor Trek in 2017 and found it profoundly moving. While she remembers stunning mountain-top sunrises and the friendly villagers who turned out to greet the trekkers, the experience also caused her to reflect on her practice as a nurse.
“Sometimes we complain at work about things like not having enough supplies or equipment,” Louise says.
“It’s not until you see how other people live that you realise how much we take for granted what we do have.
“Many people we saw on the trek are a few days by foot to the nearest health care. We came across health clinics, the only medical facilities for days, that were closed because there were no trained staff.
“I left Timor touched by these amazing people and wanting to help make a difference in their lives. I hope other nurses will jump on board and support the trek. It’s a fantastic experience and a practical way to support our neighbours in Timor-Leste.”
Registrations close 23 May 2018. Info: www.easttimorheartsfund.org.au/trans-timor-trek