Huge heart that lifted everyone

Rhonda Moon
6 December 1955 – 24 April 2009

Rhonda was born in Rosebery, the eldest of three children to Lillian and Bob Moon. She trained as an Enrolled Nurse at Rachael Foster Hospital in 1975 and went on to work in the Emergency Department at Eastern Suburbs Hospital, then Sydney Hospital, for several years. In 1982 Rhonda came to Royal North Shore Hospital to work in the Emergency Department and she continued to work there until her sudden and untimely death on 24 April last year.

Rhonda was struck by a car at Berowra as she was about to get into her car. She had effective CPR at the scene where kind locals responded until dedicated ambulance officers and paramedics took over. She was retrieved by the highly skilled Helicopter Retrieval Team and brought to RNSH, to the very same Emergency Department she had loved and worked in for 27 years. Her colleagues and friends there worked tirelessly and professionally in very difficult circum-stances, until she was eventually transferred to the ICU, where outstanding care continued. Rhonda never regained consciousness and died there later that night surrounded by her husband John, her parents and siblings and some of her friends beside her.

We were all privileged to have known Rhonda. She was an incredible human being and a wonderful nurse. She loved life and had a huge heart that was full of compassion for her patients, her colleagues, her family and her friends. Once you met Rhonda, you never forgot her! She was a unique individual that you were lucky to meet once in a lifetime. She was a strikingly beautiful, intelligent woman with an amazing smile and glorious head of hair that saw many colours. Rhonda was immaculately groomed and never came to work without her make-up perfectly applied. She was full of colour and a very creative and talented florist who arranged wedding bouquets for the whole bridal party for many friends she made through work over the years.

She had a wicked sense of humour and boundless energy and was extremely hard-working and selfless. She was a great organiser, both at work and socially. She kept the RNSH ED staff entwined and cohesive and brought us together for countless farewells, Christmas parties, balls, weddings, engagements, baby arrivals and, yes, deaths. Years ago, her sausage sizzles and BBQs at work were known all over the hospital by both patients and staff alike. The multicultural dinners on a Sunday evening were incredible and it was Rhonda’s drive and organisation that made you happy to work on a Sunday evening.

Her generosity, empathy and loyalty were impressive. She made lifelong friends and travelled the world on some incredible holidays and would always look up friends she had made through work all over the globe. She treated everyone equally and looked out for new staff with a smile and some helpful advice. Initially some found her directness surprising but all were endeared to her within a very short time and she was the first person they would seek with any queries or problems. Rhonda was the glue that kept everyone connected; even after they had left she would bring everyone together.

The RNSH kindly availed the Lincoln Hynes Memorial Chapel for a beautiful service in honour of Rhonda’s life and nursing contribution to the hospital for 27 years. A memorial plaque has been placed in honour of Rhonda Moon in the Emergency Department at RNSH by her friends and colleagues.

It is now almost a year since Rhonda died and she is deeply missed by her family, friends and work mates.

By Mary Separovich, on behalf of Rhonda’s friends and work colleagues