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(generated from captions) (Laughs) Closed Captions by CSI - Jacqui M # Theme music Every day in Australia, GERALDINE DOOGUE: in hospital. there are over 40,000 patients stick out your tongue. If you can hear me, While medicine tends the bodies, chaplains tend the souls. I think he's going to die. MAN: It is a tough environment. to think for a minute I don't want anyone it's a tough job. that this is an easy job - the chaplain's journeys In this series, we follow families at three major hospitals. alongside the patients and teaching or Jewish teaching. This isn't about Catholic Do you have some pain? in the person themselves - This is about what's spirituality express itself letting their own in however that needs to be. of the Son and the Holy Spirit. In the name of the Father and and Protestant, Our chaplains are Catholic Muslim, Jewish and Buddhist. all meet the same challenges. Regardless of their faith, they challenges our faith. Working in the hospitals but we're not God. We want to be God sometimes, we don't have answers, MAN: We don't have solutions, ...needle now. but we try to help. The pain of suffering... all introspective. Suffering makes us 'meaning of life' questions. We start to ask those ..the power of love... people for who they are. It's about respect - respecting (Laughter) ..and the joy of new life. (Burbles happily) with a hard decision. This week, Chaplain Graham helps pretty big thing. Hello. To face the amputation of a leg is a Chaplain Di brings in the dogs... happen with the dogs here. I've seen some wonderful things a new denomination... ..and Chaplain Julie discovers created my own ministry, I exited that church and of Australia. which is Dirtbag Ministries ..with a membership of one. Reverend Vroom Vroom. And I am the Oh, OK. in Sydney's south-west, At Liverpool Hospital is visiting the vascular ward. Anglican chaplain Graham McKay every day is different. After 12 years, he knows with one patient or one family, Sometimes you spend a long time the ward and you say hello other days you go through and that's it.

is meeting Sharren. Today, Chaplain Graham WOMAN: Hi, how are you? Hi. When did you come into hospital? Yeah. OK. happened fairly urgently for you? So this was something that Unexpectedly? Yeah. Yeah. Yep. Sharren's in pain. down her left side. She's completely paralysed getting enough blood flow But now her left leg is not and is in danger of dying. (Slurs indistinctly) This, and her slurred speech... horrendous car crash 28 years ago. ..are all knock-on effects of an when she was 17. She had her accident Um... She died twice, Sharren. for three months. She was in a coma came out of the coma, And virtually when she she couldn't sit up, she couldn't eat, she couldn't do anything. she was blind. She'd lost her voice, You name it. was a superactive athlete, Before her accident, Sharren swimmer and hockey player. fight for life was agonising. Watching her daughter (Laughter echoes) that I was sitting there - I always remember the night and I was talking to her. Sid and I were sitting there - said, 'Is that better, darling?' She was still in the coma and I and she nodded her head. else and she nodded. And then I asked her something I said. 'She's back!' I was so excited. 'She's back!' Sharren's a survivor. She slowly rebuilt her life, a son, graduating from TAFE, finishing a high school, raising and disability. all the while battling diabetes a remarkable inner strength. Sharren seems to have quite a lot of hard times, She's been through but never ever complained. She's been amazing, really. as tough as nails. She's always been As tough as nails. respirator hisses) (Medical equipment beeps, Uniting Church chaplain Julie Telfer is the North Shore hospital. at Sydney's Royal the general surgery ward. This morning, she's on abide by the infection control It's very important that you in and visit the patients. and put on a gown before we go

Parkinson's disease Nursing her mother through move into chaplaincy. prompted Julie's As I visited her every day, that there was other patients it became very apparent that had no visitors. And I just became very passionate for the patients. about being there and studied theology. Julie left her hairdressing career I'm one of the chaplains here. Good afternoon, I'm Julie. Pleased to meet you! Hi, Julie. Pleased to meet you. I have, a little. A sore hand there? how you're going. Just coming to see I'm going OK. sensitive to patients Chaplains are more who have not had visitors. OK. I'll just pull up a chair here. Katrin... Kerina, is it? So what's happening for you, or the story about my hand? Kerina. Want the full story (Laughs) Your story, Kerina. quite involved. My story. Well, my story's comes in to visit with a patient. It's interesting when a chaplain I'm not sure who they are. They're not sure who I am, So the initial contact environment for the patient. is providing a safe the consequence of a glass cut, The story regarding my hand is I've had for... an infection, which theatre-visit this afternoon. This'll be my fourth Four visits in six days. short picture of my hand. Um, yeah, that's the I'm a recovered addict. Yes. In the big picture, I'm 10-weeks clean. Yes. There is nothing that I haven't done. Oh, yes, a policeman once asked me, 'Kerina, have you ever been arrested?' and I said, 'Yes, I've been arrested for everything. I only have two to go - murder and armed robbery.' They'll try to shock you with certain things, but it's part of who they are and how they're trying to trust me, mmm, The amount of energy that it takes to be an addict, for example... Sometimes the patient just throws you little red herrings. A lot of them to do with some form of religious belief or what they've done in their life, just to see how you react. I'm a born-again Christian, most importantly of all. Fantastic. Yeah. I was born again in the cathedrals, in... in the churches in Canberra in 1988. So that was your baptism? I was baptised at birth, yes. But I deported myself from the Church of England. So I exited that church and I created my own ministry, which is Dirtbag Ministries Australia, and I am the Reverend Vroom Vroom. Oh, OK. Yes. Yes. And so that... you enjoy doing that? It's just part of just who I am, something that I have done. If I don't react, they tend to just trust you a bit more and you can develop a relationship. (Indistinct chatter) I told you I was... Chaplain Graham first met Sharren four months ago. It's a good bunch of friends that you've got. Back then, her left toe had turned gangrenous and was amputated. Since then, two other toes have died and also been removed. MAN: She's got a long history of vascular disease, and she was getting some tissue loss and some necrotic or dead tissue. Really, the only option for her was an amputation. So you've come back into hospital and...? GRAHAM: She'd told me that there had been talk of further amputation, but that seems not to be proceeding at this stage, at least. But it's always a further possibility. How have you been since you were here last? OK. Right. She's had a lot of medical problems over the years with a range of different things. So she seems to have a really strong personality, a strong person to deal with those things. I have, actually. I've only just come back from holidays. She kept asking me about my holidays, and I thought, 'I'm here to talk about you and your situation.' It's tricky. It's difficult. Often, I think when people do that, I think for them, it's safer to talk about me. Not that I don't want to talk about myself or what I've been doing, but is this person saying, 'I just want to stay at a safe distance in this conversation?' I have also been dead three times. At Royal North Shore, Chaplain Julie's hearing Kerina's life story. To explain my part as Reverend Vroom Vroom in the picture of my life, it has been... it is impossible. You never know what they're gonna come out with, but you just go along and, you know, be where they're at. Well, in becoming the Reverend Vroom Vroom, I wasn't happy and content with that, and I said, 'Get outta my way, JC, I wanna speak to the Lord himself, please.' And so I went out there and I did. So you wanted to speak to God himself? The Lord, I prefer him to be called. OK. And so how does that work with your whole life situation? Is that part of... What does that involve? Well, it's just part and parcel of my life as it rolled along, because I first met the devil before I went out to speak to the Lord, and that was in the Philippines. They need to express how they feel. So we're there to listen. And part of that listening is not to bring your own story in. So many people, if they start to tell their story go, 'Yeah, I know someone who experienced that.' They don't want to hear about someone. They want someone to hear them. So, you know, don't underestimate people who come from addiction and how strong they may be and who they may turn out to be. I'm just in hospital at the moment, a little bit unwell. Yes, yes. Yes. You never really know when you go into a room - something really quite deep will come out of it. And I think, in that conversation, she became aware about halfway through that someone was listening to her, and it emotionally affected her. And God knows us better than we know ourselves. Yep. (Tearfully) I called out for him and was expecting for it to happen miraculously, and it doesn't happen that way. It's a tough journey, by the sound of it. It is. And your pathway is a tough one. They say that if you share your emotions with someone else, it takes that load off. To carry those negative feelings of disappointment and helplessness is very difficult. If they're able to express their fear, and it helps from a spiritual perspective, that they start to relax more. And that's where God is. Peace be with you. And you too. It's been three months since Chaplain Graham last saw Sharren. Her toe amputations weren't enough. Now her lower leg is dying and causing her severe pain. Not a great birthday present. So, Sharren, happy birthday to you. (Laughs) Not exactly the best place to be, is it? That's true. Sharren's leg won't heal. It WILL have to be amputated. Obviously, to face the amputation of a leg is a pretty big thing. It's interesting the way that she talks about it as having it 'chopped off'. It's a pretty dramatic way of speaking. At Royal North Shore's intensive care unit, Chaplain Di Roche is preparing for some special visitors. Things are good, so I think he'll be down later on today. OK, that's great. I'm just gonna pinch this for a minute. No worries. With 20% of intensive care patients dying, ICU can present a bleak picture at times. That's why a visit from golden retriever Annie and her beagle friend Ruby is just what the doctor ordered. This is my daughter, Di. Hello, good to meet you. How are you? Hello. Sorry! Attached to the physiotherapist. Sorry! (Laughter) These guys are therapy dogs. The therapy dogs come up into the unit every Thursday. How are you doing? They're specially selected, specially trained. That's Ruby. Do you want to pat her? Hello, Ruby! She had a bath this morning. DI: There's the whole process of double-shampooing and they're swabbed and all sorts of things that they go through that takes hours before they come to the hospital. And many of us think the dogs are probably a whole lot cleaner than... (Laughs) ..the rest of us who are walking around! OK, around we go. It's thanks to a hospital chaplain that therapy dogs came about. In Britain in the mid-1970s, a chaplain took his golden retriever into the wards. Afterwards, a nurse noticed the patients seemed much improved. Ruby, come and say hello. Research shows dogs do make a difference. Are you a dog lover? Yes. Labradors. Fabulous dogs. After dog visits, patients need less pain medication... She's six... ..have reduced blood pressure... ..and spoiled. ..and quicker recovery times. I'm fine, thank you very much. You look well. I'm feeling OK. I've seen some wonderful things happen with the dogs here with patients. Often it is the longer-term patients that they come to and just sit at the bedside, up on one of the chairs. About seven different dogs in the hospital. You volunteer with your pet, then they assess you and... WOMAN: Oh, that's your own dog? Yeah, they're our family pets. She's a pretty big dog. That's alright. You want me to put your hand on her? Robert's undergoing long-term treatment for the paralysing nerve disease GuillainPBarre Syndrome. You want me to show you what the nurses did to her? Yeah. They trained her to smile. Look. Annie, smile. (Laughs) That's good! DI: It's a very important part of our spiritual support that's given to people here. When we're under stress, as are people here in this sort of place... Feel better yet? Yeah. ..just the sheer pleasure of them, it can be a way of lifting their spirits. Hello! I'm sure they do lessen anxiety. You guys got a dog at home? GERALDINE: Dogs aren't just for patients. They also comfort those who sit and wait. I'll show you Ruby's imitation of Winnie-the-Pooh. You ready? See? (Laughter) This is Pooh Bear and the honey pot. See? The tummy. No. No. (Laughter) You can scratch her tummy. Rubes! Hello, Rubes. OK, alright, guys. We might catch you later. Are you gonna smile? One of the nurses... They literally do lift people's spirits, often at a time here where there's not a lot of pleasure - there's a lot of heartache. It's a very important part of the spiritual support that's given to people here. End of the shift. (Medical equipment beeps)

GRAHAM: Sharren's operation seems to have been postponed again and again. She's feeling pretty frustrated and quite angry about that, which is understandable, because it's been postponed a couple of times now. Sharren's leg amputation keeps getting bumped for emergency cases. She also has a highly contagious superbug, so to ensure it doesn't spread, she's at the tail-end of the daily surgery list. Often, her surgeons simply run out of time. You're having a bad day. You get to the stage that you believe it when you see it. Sharren's had a pretty tough time. Yeah, I think she's feeling at the end of her tether at the moment. No, that's alright. That's OK. Alright, we're gonna leave you alone and stop pestering you and catch up with you next week. OK. Yeah. JULIE: Part of my training has always been in the back of my mind to ask where is God in the visit? And often that comes in the reflection, after I leave the patient. And God is often in something really small, or in things that happen, or even just me appearing at the bedside at a certain time. I am on the straight and narrow, as I think I said the other day. I'm actually 8 days sober and almost 12 weeks clean. I draw on that strength, knowing that God is there... Gonna shuffle off here. ..and that there is a hand in there that's not mine. I find that really warms my soul. Well, I'm going home today, yes. My short hospital stay and the lovely care down here. I'm much better. And, of course, back to being with the Lord. Amen, hallelujah. Press the button. We try not to sin too much in Dirtbag Ministry and we ask for forgiveness when we do. Yeah, basically. I mean, at times I'm not able to control the sinning, so I ask for forgiveness before I sin. Then I sin, then I ask for forgiveness again. And until such time that we can get on top of our sins, I guess that's how we move in Dirtbag Ministries Australia. (Laughs) Alright, see ya. See ya, guys. WOMAN: Take care, thank you. Bye. At Liverpool, Sharren's amputation operation is finally happening. And I'll let you know what's happening and you ring Grandma. Alright, I'll ring her this afternoon. OK. Her son Aaron has come to wish her well. Alright, I'll see you tomorrow anyway. OK. Thanks. No worries. See you, mate. See ya. Yeah, I'll ring on that one anyway. The removal of Sharren's withered and dying leg should bring an end to her constant pain. GRAHAM: I don't think she's what you'd call a particularly religious person, but she's been happy for me to pray with her a couple of times. I'm convinced that when I pray, God hears that prayer. They're not just words going up to the ceiling. Does that mean that when we pray, God will perform a miracle? Well, sometimes he does, but often he doesn't. Hi, Sharren. Hi! Sharren's operation has been a success. Her dying leg was removed above the knee. A loss that's given her a surprising gain. It's the first time Sharren's moved her left leg in 28 years. For Sharren to get movement back into her leg obviously wasn't something she was expecting. I wouldn't exactly describe it as miraculous, but it depends what you mean by miraculous. Whenever God answers prayers, there's a sense in which that's a miraculous thing. Sharren's doing really well, actually. She's recovering well from the operation. She'll go to a rehab facility and hoping to get her a little more mobile so she can complete her activities of daily life requiring less assistance. I hope all goes really well for you and just wish you God's blessing for all that lies ahead. Thank you very much. OK, I'll see you later, Sharren. My pleasure. God bless. Bye-bye. Bye. Just lay back. Next week, Chaplain Di stands by shocked parents. Their son a victim of a random bashing. We all care about him. And Chaplain Julie supports Sandra... Just hang on, hang on. ..struck down by an incurable disease. (Groans with pain) She often says it's not fair, and it isn't. Closed Captions by CSI

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Live. Tonight - Syrian

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