Volunteer videocalls physio friend to help with first aid
A young man came up to our first aid station during distribution in Calais last week complaining of knee pain. This isn’t uncommon: refugees often have to walk for hours on end wearing flimsy shoes, especially after the brutal evictions of recent weeks. Yet the volunteer who was leading on first aid, a trained paramedic, couldn’t figure out what was wrong.
But she didn’t let that stop her!
Determined to help, she started video-calling a few of her physiotherapist friends from the UK, showing them the refugee’s knees on camera so that they could help her make the right assessment.
It was amazing to see how our volunteers go above and beyond the call of duty to help: when they can’t fix something themselves, they’ll mobilise an army of helpers from wherever they can.
The spirit of compassion runs in their blood. First aid is a major part of the services we offer in Calais and Dunkirk. We’re supported by the amazing First Aid Support Team – FAST, a non-profit that provides us with medical supplies here in Calais.
Refugees often suffer from joint pain from excessive walking, show up with bruises and infected cuts from living in dangerous and unsanitary conditions, or report clear signs of dehydration and malnutrition.
Sometimes, the source of their pain is a little more unexpected. A young refugee, around my age, came up to us in Dunkirk complaining of constant headaches. As it turns out, him and I share the same struggle: reading e-books on our mobiles for way too many hours every day! He was a huge fan of Greek literature and had to constantly remind himself to put the phone down before he got a migraine. But it was worth it for the moments of escapism that only fictional books can provide.
To help us continue delivering vital services such as first aid during our distributions, you can donate at care4calais.org/donate