Braveheart Volunteer Carolyon
Meet Braveheart Volunteer Carolyon, she is one of the many specialised volunteers at The Wesley Hospital who services a specific ward or clinical area using her own lived experiences to help others.
Braveheart Volunteers volunteer with cardiology, coronary care and cardiac patients in the hospital covering those who have had major surgeries down to patients in for routine checks and screenings.
"We are a source of support and information for them during their stay in the hospital," Carolyon explains.
"Coming in to hospital can be a daunting and stressful experience for anyone, they speak with so many clinicians, sometimes it’s reassuring to speak with someone who has been through a similar experience.”
Carolyon explains she had triple bypass surgery at The Wesley in 2021 and said thanks to the outstanding care she received she was motivated to come back and volunteer.
"I had been volunteering in discharge planning and took a break over COVID, when I returned I saw they were looking for Braveheart Volunteers so I decided to apply for the role," Carolyon said.
"Each shift I will meet with the Nurse Manager on the floor who tells me which patients may benefit from a visit.
"I will then spend time with them and their loved ones, answering questions and giving non-clinical advice. The patients enjoy speaking with someone who has been through the same experience as they have."
Carolyon explains the work is so rewarding especially when patients they tell her they feel less anxious or comment on what a wonderful initiative Braveheart’s is.
“Sometimes the patients don’t want to speak about their experience in the hospital but would prefer to chat about other things to take their mind off what’s going on,” Carolyon said.
“I think it’s a great initiative, some of the patients here are from regional and remote areas so they don’t have many visitors. They do really appreciate the company.
“The hospital is a wonderful place to be, it’s so friendly and inviting. We have lovely supportive management and you’re able to make friends and social connections. I would highly recommend volunteering to anyone.”