Aug 31st 2022
Community nurse takes on voluntary mission in Nepal
A retired nurse from Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust has shared her plans to jet off to Nepal to provide medical aid to the less fortunate.
Brenda Lee, aged 65, who worked at the organisation, will go to the Asian country in October for her third mission.
She started her selfless work in 2018 and spent three weeks in the country helping to deliver care to poverty-stricken communities after being inspired by a fellow missionary.
The mum-of-two from Cradley Heath, recalled: “When I came back to the UK after my first mission, I knew I had to respond to my calling by using my nursing knowledge to help people. I returned the following year for a short time.
“I live by the quote ‘if you love God, you can’t not love his people’. My Christian faith is one of my main driving forces for this experience.”
Brenda was a community staff nurse at the Trust for 16 years before retiring in 2021. She remains active and continues to work for the Trust on a temporary basis
Counting down the days until her trip next month, she said: “I will join a mobile medical team (MMT), where we will travel to villages across the town of Tulsipur to visit people who cannot afford to travel to access care. The MMT project is in partnership with a local medical clinic in Nepal.
“The aim of the MMT is to improve preventative healthcare of the people and in turn, enhance their quality of life.”
This mission is a challenge in more ways than one for the nurse from Cradley Heath – Brenda is currently learning the Nepali language and more about the culture so that she can connect with the community.
She added: “Living in a western country, I am fortunate enough to be in a position where I can give back to others. A lot of people have said to me ‘why don’t you volunteer in the UK?’ but for me, it’s more meaningful to help people where there are less resources.
“Despite some friends and family members being a little worried for me, they’re all very supportive of this venture. My son encouraged me to do whatever I’m passionate about so I don’t have any regrets later in life. I hope to make my loved ones proud.
“A lot of my friends who have retired use their free time to go on holidays, and although I do enjoy a nice holiday from time to time, I have a lot of satisfaction in knowing I have done something meaningful for those in need,” she admitted.
Her other motivations include her many years of service at the Trust, where she’d often build relationships with her patients in long-term community care. She shared: “I’ve known some of my patients for over 10 years, some of them are like family.”
During previous missions to Nepal, Brenda delivered care to patients on a one-off basis. However, this time she will spend five to six months in one area and will be revisiting the patients to follow up their care and recovery – a factor she enjoyed about community nursing back in the UK.
She hopes her story will help inspire people to step out of their comfort zone. She added: “Don’t see your age as a hurdle, instead try to do something good while you still can.”
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