Medico's first Nepalese patient was protective orphaned boy
WHEN Tammra Warby landed in Nepal last month, she went in with an open mind.
What she did come home with though were countless heart-warming stories and experiences, as she trekked her way through several remote villages to give people medical care.
The Family Practice at Emu Park GP told the Capricorn Coast Mirror about her challenging but rewarding journey with Medical Trek Nepal upon her return recently.
Dr Warby spent two weeks walking extremely rough country and faced harsh weather conditions with a team of guides, porters, Nepalese nurses and volunteers carrying medical supplies.
But the experience Dr Warby gained in return was priceless.
"Nepal is an extremely underdeveloped country, so even before the earthquake they didn't have access to basic health care, electricity, roads, jobs and education," Dr Warby said.
"So they're already behind the eight ball because of all those things are lacking and there is no government vision.
"But after all of the fundraising and talking to my supporters before I left to go there, I felt really good and was just keen to get there and start meeting the team."
While some of the doctors and nurses on Dr Warby's team, including herself, fell sick or injured, they made it to all of the four villages and set up their clinics, seeing more than 450 people during the trip.
"My first patient was a young orphaned boy looking after his little sister, so I was bit protective of him," she explained.
"The small thing that I was able to help him with justified the whole trip to me. We were seeing patients with no care since previous medical treks, resupplying medicines, educating the women about contraception and talking to the elderly about their knee and back pain.
"There were a lot of people with stomach pains which was a result of irregular eating."
Dr Warby said it was moments like taking part in the villagers' cultural ceremonies that made her feel so privileged to be there.
"It also made you really mindful that before the earthquake there were other villages like this one that would've been full of people dancing and laughing, but are now completely gone," she said sadly.
"It was really like a physical marathon, because it was very difficult access in hard conditions, dehydrated and lacking sleep, but I didn't ever think of leaving. Everyone on our team got each other through.
"It was one of the best things I could've done with my time; it was so worthwhile an unforgettable experience.
"I'm still in touch with the other team members; I'm so happy we could help people even in a minor way, it really made a difference and was important to me."
Dr Warby said she was happy to be back as a permanent GP of the Family Practice Emu Park.
Medical Trek Talk
Dr Warby will speak at Yeppoon Library for a special session of "Armchair Travel" to present photos and video of the "Medical Trek Nepal" on Wednesday August 19, 6.30pm.
Dr Warby would like to thank the following businesses/ individuals:
Biphasic First Aid training, Coal Train, Vanguard Health, Lions Emu Park, Rotary Emu Park, Ebos Group Australia, Daniels Surgical, Welch-Allyn, Yeppoon Day and Night Pharmacy, Village Pharmacy Emu Park, Matt Cavanagh Podiatry, Yeppoon Family Practice plus all the mycause supporters.
Thank you to all staff and nurses of the Family Practice Emu Park as well as all the patients and the businesses who generously supported and donated for our raffle.