Port Macquarie's Dr Lindsay Sherriff will feature in the eight-part documentary series The Surgery Ship, detailing his time aboard the world's largest non-governmental hospital ship, the MV Africa Mercy.
Dr Sherriff met his wife Dr Dianne Sherriff while studying medicine at university in Adelaide. The couple later settled in Victoria where they practiced as rural family medicine practitioners, combining anaesthetics and obstetrics with general physician and paediatrics work.
After 25 years in private practice, they believed it was the right time to follow a long-term desire to use their medical skills abroad and joined Mercy Ships as full-time volunteers in 2014. They served in Madagascar and Benin and returned home in 2017 before working in East Timor for several years and now call Port Macquarie home.
"We joined Mercy Ships in 2014 and our first job was the following year. It's very much a love job because it is volunteer work," Dr Lindsay Sherriff said.
"We're very much cared for in Australia when we need medical help, but there are people who do it a lot harder and have less access to the help they need. Dianne and I knew that and we wanted to help and use our medical experience."
Filmed in Benin, West Africa, The Surgery Ship follows an entire team of volunteer doctors and nurses as they sail to the poorest nations on earth where they face the most severe of medical issues, not seen in other parts of the world.
"It was an extraordinary experience and was a way for us to contribute," Dr Sherriff said.
"The ship has five operating theatres and the 450 staff onboard are all volunteers. It's an incredible organisation."
Dr Sherriff took on the role of senior hospital physician while Dr Dianne Sherriff worked as a general physician.
The first episode of The Surgery Ship aired on May 23 at 11am on 7TWO and will run over the next eight weeks, an encore screening of each episode on Mondays at 1pm. It will also be available to stream on demand on 7Plus.
The episode featuring Dr Sherriff will air on 7TWO on Sunday, May 30 at 11am.
"I commend the documentary. It's very compelling viewing because it's a real and raw look at the work that Mercy Ships does and it gives viewers a good idea of what it's like."
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