Jessie Rodgers at the Chitre health camp in Nepal.
Jessie Rodgers at the Chitre health camp in Nepal.

Helping hand for Nepal

WITH a passion for medicine, local life guard and now paramedic Jessie Rodgers took to the earthquake damaged Nepal to aid those in need.

Jessie went to Nepal for 14 days as a part of the Wild Medic Project with two Queensland qualified paramedics Mat and Kate and two Deacon Biomedical Science students Gen and Jo.

"People can tell you how chaotic Nepal is but until your feet are on the ground, you cannot fathom it," Jessie said.

"When we arrived in Nepal as a team, we were able to spend a few days sightseeing in Kathmandu before heading off to begin our Health Camp in a small village known as Chitre.

"Chitre, where we held our health clinic is approximately 60kms from Kathmandu Valley- in Jeep, this drive took us almost five hours with a lunch in Melamchi where we ate the spiciest curry I will ever consume - the bumpy drive was worth it.

"Chitre is a gorgeous, peaceful village consisting of many temporary houses, due to earthquake damage, surrounded by green rice patties and crops. It is hard to describe the absolute peace you feel when staying in the village, one I am hoping to experience again in the coming years.

"Our final day in Kathmandu was spent at a small school in the Kathmandu Valley where we educated children aged 10-15 on medical topics such as snake bite first aid - the kids absolutely loved it."


HELPING HAND: Namaste from children in Chitre before heading off to school.
Namaste from children in Chitre.

During the two day health camp in Chitre, almost 110 villagers with either medical or eye complaints were seen to.

Due to the success at the health camp, during their drive home they stopped and stayed a few nights in a village known as Lapsephedi, where they set up an impromptu health camp based at the school and tended to about 70 villagers in 6 hours.


HELPING HAND: Jessie Rodgers with villagers whom she assisted.
HELPING HAND: Jessie Rodgers with villagers she assisted.

"Here I recall a particular elderly woman who presented to me with symptoms of carpal tunnel," Jessie said.

"She among all of the Nepalese villagers had extremely dry skin, particularly her hands.

"Administration of some anti-inflammatory tablets and a hand massage with moisturiser made her feel a million bucks.

"I am sure that no one had ever paid so much attention to her weathered hands and I believe that this act is something so simple, but one she will never forget." 


While aiding those further abroad than Bundaberg, Jessie's love for helping people started when she was a child.

"Since I was eight years-of-age I have been involved in Surf Lifesaving," she said.

"Surf Lifesaving has given me the opportunity to partake as a nipper, an active volunteer patrol member and gain employment with the Australian Lifeguard Service as a paid lifeguard.

"Serving on the beach over many years exposed me to witnessing the work of paramedics and I have always been inspired by their calm approach and ability to communicate with ease to reassure and attend to a patient."

Jessie recently completed three years of study via correspondence with Central Queensland University in Bachelor of Paramedic Science with distinction.


HELPING HAND: Enjoying the Himalayan views in Namobuddha.
Enjoying the Himalayan views in Namobuddha.

"The idea of going to work everyday to something different excited me and furthermore, the opportunity to change someone's life is very rewarding.

As a reward to myself for finishing university, I planned to travel to Nepal and volunteer with the Wild Medic Project and travel on to India afterwards for some downtime.

"I have always hoped that I would one day travel and volunteer as a medical professional to give much needed assistance and when this opportunity presented itself, I welcomed it."

Jessie said without the support from businesses and individuals she not have been successful in raising over $5000.00, $2000.00 of which has gone to rebuilding the permanent medical shelter in Chitre.