Katy: Physiotherapy as a mission

“As much as it’s a privilege to help people heal physically, I feel more strongly about trying to help people with their spiritual lives. In my normal job, I try to be a witness to Christ and live for Him. It’s amazing to be in a setting where I can combine my skills for physical healing with the ability to speak openly about the gospel. At home, in Britain, these opportunities don’t exist. I wanted to work in an environment where we can live for our future inheritance in heaven and help others learn about Christ.”

Katy is our newest physiotherapist at our mission hospital in Malawi! She’s traveled all the way from England to work with our physiotherapy team for the next year as the team leader. Her role is to build up the physiotherapy team’s clinical knowledge as well as teach leadership skills for the future. She told us a little bit about how she came to work with CURE and the process of applying.

Kate poses with Shabani when he came back for a physio appointment.

“There was an advertisement in our physiotherapy magazine. I was looking for a job at a Christian hospital in Africa, and was not expecting to see anything, but there it was! So, I did research on the hospital’s vision and I jumped at the chance to apply. I was really impressed by the application process. It was professional and that gave me a lot of confidence. Sometimes when you’re looking into doing charity work or missions, it can seem vague and wishy-washy. Whereas CURE seemed to have a very specific goal in mind for who they employ. The interview happened within ten days and that was a pleasant surprise.”

Katie at Tuesday morning worship.

“My first week was overwhelming—getting used to the new environment, culture, faces, and names—but I was also super excited about the role. My first day was a Tuesday, which is chapel morning. Going into that chapel service with everyone singing… I was thinking, ‘Oh yes, this was definitely the right decision’ and I felt comfortable after that. It’s just been a process of getting to know the routines and schedules and fitting into the physio department. So, the first few weeks were just observing and finding my feet and looking at what my work would be and how I could help my team.”

“In the pediatric ward, there’s definitely a good team spirit in the staff. It’s very open. There’s a nice atmosphere of play and you can go and chat with the kids at any time, not just during physiotherapy. There was a little boy named Calvine, and he has so much warmth and energy despite having both arms in bandages. I was amazed at the way people here don’t complain and have a positive attitude outlook when going through traumatic experiences. That was definitely a big encouragement in my first couple of weeks when I was feeling homesick.”

Katy talks to Kumbukani outside physio.

“My role is supervising the team and trying to teach them how to take responsibility of the department. Trying to help them to think of new ideas about how to run the service smoothly and efficiently. There’s some cultural challenges. The physiotherapists are very open to change and accepting of it. It’s just working on problem solving and being bold enough think of and try new ideas.”

The physiotherapist team poses for a group photo. Back row: Katy, Diana, Bessie, Janet, Shadreck. Front row: Francis, Patrick and Ndapile.

“This past Friday, we had to lead the teaching session for the whole hospital. So, we broke it down and everyone had a responsibility and planning to do. It gave everyone a bit of a boost and ended up being very successful. I think that goes to show when you give the team something, they’re very open to it and do a very good job.”

Katy teaches Patrick how to show patients wrist exercises.

“From a medical perspective, being here at CURE is an amazing opportunity. We have really skilled, gifted, and talented medical professionals. So, it’s a great place if you want to learn. The treatments and the conditions that people have here are so unique; you can’t get this experience anywhere else. For instance, we treated a gamekeeper who had been thrown across the track because a rhino charged at him! Another highlight is that we can start our day with devotional time and pray through the day ahead and focus on our ultimate goal and that is quite a humbling experience.”

Discover job opportunities at CURE’s mission hospitals at jobs.cure.org.


Photo of the Avanell Brock

About the Author:

Avanell Brock served as CURE Storyteller at CURE Malawi. Using her skills in photography and writing to serve God and help people has been a long-term goal, and she's so happy to have a job doing just that right out of college! She gets to tell the world about the awesome kids that we serve in Malawi, getting their stories, surgeries, and smiles out to people who can pray and support them! Malawi is a beautiful country and Avanell loves exploring it on the weekends! She also enjoys photography, cooking, reading, and of course, playing with some pretty great kids. She loves her family back home in Rhode Island and is so glad that modern day technology allows her to call them almost every weekend from the other side of the world. Before joining CURE, Avanell studied photojournalism in Rochester, NY.

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