New announcement. Learn more


She’s got her life back – surgery recipient grateful for assistance through the Braemar Community Surgery Programme

When Andrea Jones says the Braemar Charitable Trust gave her her life back, she means it.

Andrea been in pain for years, had been on the hospital surgery waiting list for years, and on occasions hospitalised with her pain. That pain was dragging her down, mentally and physically.

Andrea, who works as an office manager, had gone from being a very social person to someone who seldom went out – too risky in her condition – and her energy levels plummeted.

“I used to think nothing of walking 10 kilometres, but it got to the stage where I could barely walk the dog for 10 minutes,” Andrea says. “I couldn’t attend evening events for work or go away for a weekend.”

Through her work in the charitable sector, she knew about the Braemar Charitable Trust (BCT) but never thought she’d be eligible for free surgery. “I thought there must be people who needed surgery more than I did. I thought I’d just have to live with pain.”

It was a colleague who suggested Andrea, who’s a single mum with two grown-up children, apply to the Trust for surgery.

The Trust, which owns Braemar Hospital, provides scholarships, health training, funds medical research in the Waikato and provides free surgeries for people in the region who have been declined or face a considerable wait time in the public system, do not have ACC or private insurance nor the means to fund private treatment.  

Many surgeons and anesthetists who are credentialed to work at Braemar Hospital donate their time, free. Braemar Hospital provides consumable items at cost, and the Trust covers the costs such as surgical items, consumables, drugs and nursing care.

Andrea’s GP hadn’t heard about the Trust and the work it does in the region, but she was happy to complete a referral for Andrea’s surgery. That was in January this year, and a few weeks later after BCT trustees had considered Andrea’s application she received the good news.

“I burst into tears when I received the news. I was so relieved and grateful.”

Andrea was in Braemar Hospital for three nights following her hysterectomy. “The surgeon and the anesthetist were wonderful, and the nurses, absolute angels. I felt very lucky. It was such a lovely environment.

“I gave a donation to the Trust after my surgery, as much as I could afford, and I have now offered to work as a volunteer at the Trust’s Community Surgery days in November.”  

More than 200 surgeons and anaesthetists are credentialed to work at Braemar Hospital. Some provide free surgeries, included in their surgery time at Braemar, and others will be dedicating entire days in November when two full Community Surgery Days will take place at Braemar Hospital. Dozens of people from across the region are expected to receive free surgeries across the days.

 “The Braemar Charitable Trust, I love it,” Andrea says. “I’m always happy to shout about the Trust, what they do and the good they’re doing.”


This product has been added to your cart