Chris O’Dempsey, Director of Heart Reach Australia /HR Vietnam (an AusCham Member), provides an update on the new Heart Reach Australia Water Ambulance. And what a difference it is making already to the people of the Mekong.

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I am now back in Queensland but visited Tanh Hai Island just before returning from Vietnam.

HRA1We launched the Heart Reach Australia boat, despite a VERY low tide, and because of the design of the hull and the hydraulics, navigated through low tide waters and mud banks, to deeper areas, with relative ease. This became a challenge that took on a serious note when a young man collapsed nearby.

We were out on a test run, with no stretcher, so the boat floor, carpeted and clean, became the basis for medical attention.

Fortunately, because of the close proximity of the boat, we were able to stabilize the man fairly quickly, and he later made a full recovery.

This demonstrated again, just how volatile the waterways are for locals in Vietnam, and explains to some degree, how easily so many die either from medical or water induced situations.

The Ambulance Boat is going to provide a lifeline to thousands for many years to come.

In the period since the launch mid December, over 800 residents have had access to the vessel.

We desperately need funding, not just for ongoing costs for this, but to assist in providing another boat for the Central Mekong, Can Tho area.

Sponsorships and donations in Australia are tax deductible.

In Vietnam, like us for 26 years.. just know you are part of making a huge difference in the future of so many poor families.

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