Rachelle Robinson

Speech pathologist, Head and Neck Oncology

Prince of Wales Hospital

“I see people through their journey of head and neck cancer. From the time when they’re diagnosed to preparing them for surgery and afterwards to help them in terms of swallowing and communication. We don’t say goodbye as soon as they leave hospital, we keep them for life.

What matters most to me is giving patients something to live for after they’ve completed their cancer treatment. Sometimes it’s the simple things, like sitting down with your family having dinner and not being the last one to finish. Being able to give people as much independence to return to what makes them tick is wonderful.

I saw a laryngectomy patient recently, who’s a neck breather and in theory can’t swim again, because he would drown. Many of his loves in life relate to the water - scuba diving, surfing, fishing…  He did a swimming course in England and can now swim with a specially fitted snorkel. Amazing. We’re hoping we can offer something like that to our patients here in the future.”