Lyndon gives back to PNG community

Two men taking 'selfie' in front of ocean
Clinical Nurse Lyndon Hudson and Plastic Surgeon Dr James Savundra during their trip to PNG
October 9, 2017

When Fremantle Hospital Clinical Nurse Lyndon Hudson was offered an opportunity to volunteer in Papua New Guinea (PNG), he saw it as a chance to give back to the community.

What he didn’t realise was the profound impact it would have on him.

Lyndon was part of a small team for Interplast (external site) who travelled to Nonga General Hospital in Rabaul and performed life-changing reconstructive plastic surgery on 50 local patients over two weeks.

Having previously done a similar trip to Tanzania, Lyndon said he had no hesitation about going and knew what to expect.

“I was asked to take part by fellow colleague Plastic Surgeon Dr James Savundra. I admire the voluntary work James does and it was a privilege to be approached,” Lyndon said.

Many of the cases the team worked on were cleft palate and lip repairs as well as reconstructive surgery to treat burns victims.

The trip also provided a chance for the team to share knowledge with the local staff and forge professional relationships.

“The local surgeons and nursing staff were like sponges, they were eager to soak up as much knowledge as possible,” Lyndon said.

“Everyone was very friendly and welcoming; it was an extremely humbling experience.”

Reflecting on his experience, Lyndon said the trip to PNG had given him a greater appreciation of how fortunate we are in Australia.

“The trip has made me hyper-sensitive to issues I considered trivial that people in both my personal and working life would complain about,” Lyndon said.

“All I could think about was the issues the people of PNG faced on a daily basis.

“I find we sometimes get tied up with our own lives that we lose sight of what is happening in less fortunate parts of the world.”