Episode 9 of Our Voices introduces us to Marielle, a Filipino nurse who explains how she has been inspired by the courage and strength of two of the people closest to her.
Marielle first speaks about her mum, the person whose example encouraged her to become a nurse and who she credits as being the reason for her being “successful and happy”. Initially, a young Marielle thought that she might open her own business one day or would perhaps become involved in the arts, but she became fascinated by her mum’s stories of travel and adventure as she revealed how nursing had allowed her to work and live in Austria. Marielle dreamed of a life abroad just like her mother’s, where she would be able to meet new people and broaden her horizons.
However, an incident at school showed that being a nurse involved much more than just the glamour of living in another country. Marielle recounts how her mum was waiting in the car to take her home when another child nearby began to have a seizure. Marielle was shocked and scared by what she witnessed, but her mum calmly got out of the car in order to attend to the child and reassure the mother. It was moments like these that made Marielle feel so proud of her mother and encouraged her, even more, to want to follow in her footsteps. Even though she worried about the “heavy responsibility” being a nurse involved, she was in awe of how her mum “made it look easy”.
Years later, Marielle, now a nurse working in Brighton, talks about the traumatic experience of caring for her friend and colleague whose health deteriorated alarmingly after she caught coronavirus. Despite being a healthy woman at the peak of her fitness, the fact that her friend suffered from asthma meant that she struggled greatly to breathe once the virus had infected her. Marielle battles with tears as she describes seeing her friend in such great distress on a hospital trolley. She recounts her friend telling her that the effort involved in breathing had become so great that she wanted to stop trying. As much as she was grateful to be able to be there to provide support, playing the role of both friend and caregiver was particularly challenging: “I’m trying to give her my support, and at the same time, I’m trying to monitor how she is. I’m checking on her, and I’m trying to provide her with the right treatment.”
Fortunately, her friend is now recovering, but Marielle will never forget the strength and resilience she witnessed: “she didn’t give up….she pushed to survive.” Her own bravery in being there for her friend and colleague when most required stands as proof of how much of an impact such key people have had on Marielle’s outlook and character.
Also, if you’re a medical professional who is looking to work in the UK, and you need to pass either IELTS or OET, go to www.swooshenglish.com .