Ejuen: Faith at the Front Lines

Ejuen Lee, 26, found her calling in medicine when she came to a Melbourne church conference. There, they played a video about children in need and something moved in her, changing her forever.

 

“At that point, God just broke my heart,” she says. “I knew this was something I wanted to do.”

 

Three years later, Ejuen finds herself working night shifts at the COVID ward. Being a frontline worker, she mentions how grateful she is that the situation in Australia is a lot more stable than in other countries. Shortage of medical equipment is not an issue and emergency rooms are not overflowing with patients. Overall, she has encountered four positive patients in two different hospitals. 

 

“There is some heightened anxiety for sure,” she explains. “But we also acknowledge that Australia is quite good. It’s pretty well-controlled.”

 

Ejuen tells me that she has been pretty lucky. 

 

“Honestly, I’m grateful that I still have a job and I still get paid. I think this is [also] just the time that people get to help one another.”

 

One problem, she points out, is how isolated COVID ward patients are, and how this affects their mentality. Being surrounded by people in masks and facing a potentially fatal disease alone is challenging for anyone.

 

“When you’re in the COVID ward [the patients are] isolated and there’s all the stigma. You’re meant to have minimal interaction with them, so it can be quite a scary time. They’re all alone in the hospital. That’s what I’m praying about before going into my shifts, so I remember in the small interactions we have that I can still bring a bit of hope and joy.”

 

When asked how she remains positive in this period, she simply answers, “I get lots of comments about how ‘you’re always happy, you’re always smiling, you need to share whatever it is that you’ve got’. And I’m like, well, I can. It’s God.”