Val Smith-Orr is a registered nurse, born and raised in Yorkshire, UK. She completed her post graduate training at the world famous McIndoe Unit at the Queen Victoria Hospital. Later Val emigrated out to Australia in 1990 and later became a citizen in 2000. She attended the University of Sydney in 2003 and graduated in a Certificate in Health Science and started a Masters Research at the University of Queensland (UQ) in 2005.
Above: Val’s Queen Victoria Hospital badge in Plastic Surgery.
Val’s world changed in 2006. She was in the Philippines for a six month stint collecting data on her research at UQ. Her research was ‘feeding children with a cleft palate in a developing world’ (work) and involved interviewing mothers to see what they used/how they administered. When she initially began her research she had over 200 parents turning up. One patient in particular that stood out was a tiny baby girl weighing 2.7 kg. The girl was very malnourished and quite blue in colour. Val thought she would die in her arms. The child’s family agree to let Val care for the child for one month. After two weeks of care, one night the baby girl stopped breathing and Val managed to keep her alive through external airway resuscitation (E.A.R.) The baby survived and has since been in Val’s care ever since.
Val now runs a free clinic for children with cleft palate, offering pre and post op care, as well as facilitating surgery. Val endeavours to have all surgery completed by the age of three. From the age of five, they can start speech therapy.
Her work is primarily offering world class treatment and care for children with burns and facilitating cleft lip and palate surgery for the less fortunate and poverty stricken in the province of Zambales.
In 2014, through Rotary Australia World Community Service , Triple B Care Projects, Inc. became a beneficiary project. Donations are tax deductible for Australian residents.
Val needs more than $260,000 AUD to build a good burns unit with treatment and rehab facilities. She plans to have Australian burns surgeons and nurses to volunteer, as well as to encourage & teach local volunteer surgeons & nurses to use up to date treatments, including wound care, skin grafting techniques and care of donor sites.
To find out more about Val Smith-Orr or to get in touch, head over to her LinkedIn page.