Jacob, Palliative Care Volunteer, Kogarah

Volunteering at Calvary Hospital Kogarah has been an incredible journey. It is without a doubt one of the most insightful experiences I have experienced throughout my life. I started my volunteer work in June 2018 assisting the physiotherapists in the Palliative Care gym. From the very first moment I walked into the gym, I absolutely fell in love with the place.

I found the palliative care gym a unique place. Many people from a diverse range of cultures would come together to keep healthy. However, the most important aspect of the gym was the environment. It had this ability to get all the patients to socialise and escape the pain and anxiety they may be enduring. Even if there were language barriers between patients, they would still manage to find a way to communicate, whether it be through hand gestures or singing along to Billy Joel, Queen and occasionally some Sinatra.

As a volunteer, I would collect the patients from their rooms and bring them down to the gym as well as assist them with their exercises. Rarely would I have someone decline to come down to the gym. Even if they were not feeling too well, they would insist on coming down! It was incredible witnessing a patient’s determination to come to the gym so that he/she could potentially leave the hospital and return home. Whilst the patients exercise, I try to get to know them. Over the two years as a volunteer, I have had many meaningful conversations with several patients and have shared some hilarious moments.

As volunteers, we intend to help and keep the patient’s company, expecting nothing in return. However, at Calvary Hospital, all the patients and staff make it the most rewarding experience an individual can have. Volunteering has provided me with the deepest of insight and has further motivated me to assist those in need.

I will leave you all with a photo of a man that never fails to put a smile on my face. Every time I see him walk through the door to enter the gym, he enters with a big grin on his face and then cheekily yells “Everybody Happy?.” He brings a sense of positivity and happiness, and I hope I do the same for him as well as all the other patients at Calvary Hospital Kogarah.

If you are interested in volunteering with Calvary find out more here

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