The beating heart of Purple House is our dynamic team of nurses who now offer dialysis in 20 remote clinics across 3 states. And get so much in return. Our Dialysis Manager Megan Croft wrote this letter to be published by CranaPLUS in their 2017 winter edition:

I write to you from Kaltukatjara, otherwise known as Docker River, some 700 kilometres south-west of Mparntwe/Alice Springs. I’ve just collapsed on the lounge after a long day on the road. Today was no ordinary day. It was the magnificent day we got someone home to her country after being stuck in town on dialysis for almost a decade.

 

Getting people home on country is no small feat. The effect on wellbeing is something you can actually see – the transition of a woman’s face as I turn a corner and she sees a mountain she has not seen in years. A calm washes over her and her spirit seems to grow, right there in front of me. The shy, quiet lady I’ve known in town was suddenly full of energy, pointing here and there and telling me all about the place she grew up.

 

It’s life-adding moments like this that drew me into the Purple House 18 months ago, moments that make it hard to ever consider leaving.


My road to Central Australia began in Newcastle, New South Wales when I was sitting down for my first appraisal, six months into my dialysis training. I was telling my mentor about the connection I wanted to make between renal nursing and my interest in Indigenous health. Her eyes lit up. ‘I’ve got the perfect place for you’. She ran out the door and came back with a flyer with a very colourful truck on it. Little did I know, it was to be a one-way ticket to my dream job.

 

I did a few years of dialysis nursing before I contacted Purple House on Facebook. Before I knew it, Sarah Brown, the legendary CEO of Purple House, was chatting to me on Messenger. I was full of butterflies. A phone call later, a few more questions from Sarah – essentially ‘when can you start?’ – and I was suddenly well on my way to moving interstate to the Northern Territory. I packed my little sedan with as much stuff as we could fit and drove the 2,839 km to Mparntwe/Alice Springs.

 

Starting at the Purple House was like a breath of fresh air. The purple suburban house oozes laughter and an irrepressible can-do attitude, where instead of saying ‘no’ to things, you are left asking, ‘hey, why can’t we do that?’ For the first time, I was looking at the potential of a health service that is culturally safe for people to use, a health service that is governed by the patients themselves.

 

Apart from excellent care, these nurses become an integral part of the community, helping patients stay healthy, eat well, visit sacred sites, go hunting and pass on cultural knowledge. You very quickly become the student, not educator. There is so much to give but also to learn, it becomes a two-way street. A door opens to the oldest living culture in the world, and you get to walk right through it and experience something so special and so rich – there’s nothing else like it.

“Moments that make it hard to ever consider leaving.” Those words have rung true as 5 years on Megan is still experiencing these moments and has worked hard to get countless dialysis patients home.

If you’re a dialysis nurse eager to make a difference and have the adventure of a lifetime, check out our careers page OR just follow the fun on our Facebook and Instagram.