Vicki’s open heart guides her open door hospital welcomes
WHEN Noosa Hospital volunteer Vicki Lloyd meets and greets often anxious patients coming through the front door of the Goodchap St medical hub, her compassion is deeply personal.
Having battled four major health setbacks from the time she was 11, the now fit and well 68-year-old, who operates the concierge desk at the hospital, said she knows exactly the trepidation many of those entering the building are feeling.
“To me, every day is a bonus,” Vicki said as she prepared to mark International Volunteers Day on Thursday, December 5.
Vicki’s first major health issue came when she was diagnosed with a serious heart condition when she was 11 years old. Then in her early 40s she was diagnosed with breast cancer which returned 12 years later.
Another 12 years down the track and she underwent major heart surgery as a result of her childhood heart problems.
All in all it has given the Peregian Beach resident an “insider’s” perspective of the hospital system.
“When we moved up here from Brisbane, I just wanted to do something. I wanted to give back,” Vicki said.
“I know exactly how they (patients) feel.”
The former newsagency owner said a warm welcome can make all the difference, so whenever a vehicle pulls up out the front, she likes to be there to open the door for the new arrivals.
If the new patient requires a wheelchair, Vicki will wheel them along after their friendly greeting.
“It’s like I used to tell my staff in the newsagency, you have to leave your troubles at the door and put on a big smile,” Vicki said.
And her courtesy extends often to elderly visitors keen to visit a loved one, who may not be too steady on their feet.
“I offer to wheel them down to the ward and just ask them to call when they’re ready to leave and I’ll collect them,” she said.
“The thing is, I feel that I get a lot out of it,” she said of her volunteering.