Monash Health in the Media: Volunteer Ederlynn brings joy to patients at Dandenong Hospital

At Monash Health we are lucky to have volunteer Ederlynn Carkeek with us at Dandenong Hospital, who has been supporting our patients and teams for over 15 years.

As reported by Star News, the soon to be 68-year-old brings her passion to the wards and brightens our patients’ stays on every visit.

A woman of many talents, Ederlynn often brings flowers from her own garden or sings hymns from her local choir to comfort patients.

If she knows a patient’s birthday is coming up, you will see her arrive on the ward with a balloon and a handwritten card to celebrate.

For Ederlynn, her decision to devote herself to the hospital has been a way to give back, after being a patient at Dandenong Hospital herself.

“That’s why there’s a lot of memories in that hospital for me,” she said.

“Because the staff, doctors, and nurses were so kind and helpful to my family at that time, I’m happy to give back that kindness through volunteering.”

A cheerful visit from Ederlynn is invaluable, especially for those patients who may not have many of their own regular visitors.

Ederlynn says her favourite part of volunteering is engaging with the patients.

“Just give them a smile or ask how’s their day because you don’t know what’s happening in the hospital,” says Ederlynn.

“Many patients have families, but they just have no time to see them. So just being there for them for 10 or 15 minutes would make a difference.”

Volunteer Coordinator Vicky says she feels grateful to have Ederlynn as a part of the longest standing volunteers at Dandenong Hospital and is very proud of all of her accomplishments over the years.

“She is always willing to help out wherever may be required. Her down to earth personality makes her approachable, easy to talk to and a great mentor to all volunteers,” she said.

“Ederlynn buddies up to mentor most of the student volunteers on their first shift, and I am constantly receiving positive feedback from them. She embraces them like her own children and is passionate about passing on her life skills to them.”

When volunteer Kaif Mohammed Qais first arrived at Dandenong Hospital, Ederlynn took him under her wing.

“As a young man right out of high school, I felt very nervous going into my role as a Ward Ambassador – I felt like I’d have a tough time talking with patients given the generational gap,” said Kaif.

“Luckily Ederlynn was there to help. Not only was she able to help me connect with patients on a deeper level, but she showed me how enjoyable my role could be in chatting with and brightening up the lives of so many patients.”

“Ederlynn is a very loving and compassionate mentor, and I’m so grateful that she’s always been there to guide me as a volunteer”.

We would like to thank Ederlynn for her years of service and for making such a positive difference in the lives of others.