In Vietnam we caught up with Dr Luu, an anaesthetist from Danang Eye Hospital and Dr Andrew Choyce, our staff anaesthetist.

How did you get into medicine?

It was tradition for one member of the family to become a doctor - to take care of everyone. 

How many staff do you have on your team?

I am the only paediatric anaesthetist here but I have seven anaesthetic nurses who work with me. They help me prepare, organise medicine, and follow the patient from start to finish.

When I first started there was only me to deal with patients. I was so scared because I was alone. When Orbis came to our hospital in 2006 I had a great opportunity to learn from their volunteers.

The Flying Eye Hospital visited a further four times and we’ve had volunteers come on their own without the plane, so now I have more experience.

My teacher, Andrew Choyce was the first Orbis volunteer I met. I have worked with him many times and sometimes I email him on complicated cases for advice.

How does it feel to now be volunteering with Orbis?

You know, I am so proud about that. It’s my dream come true. In 2006 when the Flying Eye Hospital came to Vietnam, I saw the volunteers and couldn’t imagine that one day I would also be with Orbis. 

Now when they call me and need me I say ‘I’m ready!’ Orbis has made me strong and confident and now I can work with them to help others in my position. Orbis and my hospital are my family. We are all joined together.

Now when they call me and need me I say I’m ready!’

Have you got any interesting patient stories?

So many stories! I love working with children and, because I am the only paediatric anaesthetist at my hospital, they remember my name when they come for their check-ups, as do their parents. I feel very close to them.

Dr Choyce, how has it been to see Dr Luu progress?

I have worked with her many times over the past 11 years in various capacities, sometimes to train and now to work with as an international volunteer.

She has put a lot of time and effort into improving services at Danang Eye Hospital. She has done a great job and it’s a real pleasure seeing someone’s skills develop, so they can become an Orbis volunteer. 

Anaesthetic volunteer Dr Luu with her mentor, Dr Andrew Choyce
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