It's hard to believe the 2018 Commonwealth Games have been and gone. The logistics promoting our amazing city as a national and international holiday destination were certainly challenging but the accomplishments override those. We commend our veterinary colleagues around the Gold Coast whose clinics had to accommodate the Games. The increased traffic, road closures, and so much more were a logistical challenge the Animal Emergency Service Carrara Team hope they were able to meet their obligation to provide after hours veterinary care in this time.
What our Team is most proud of is the contribution of one of our own. Dr Rod Meehan, Director and Principal Veterinarian at our Carrara hospital, seized the moment of the Commonwealth Games to create memories with his family through volunteer work while also navigating the challenges of leading the Carrara hospital team.
How we prepared for the Commonwealth Games
The management team at our Carrara hospital worked very hard to ensure the process of caring for sick and injured pets was available 24/7. Gold Coast veterinary clinics experienced challenging traffic during the event while others were forced to close.
We worked hard in the lead up to the Games to contact vet clinic in an effort to understand how they would be impacted so we could formulate solutions to help. Phone calls, social media and emails helped us achieve this. We recorded all details so our staff had accurate information to give pet owners in the event they needed our urgent help. Another challenge was ensuring we allowed for delays our staff experienced travelling to and from work.
In time the challenges became insignificant when one of our leaders reminded us what is important despite the hurdles we needed to navigate. This was Dr Rod, who volunteered at the Games with his family while ensuring Gold Coast pets had help when they needed it.
Dr Rod Meehan volunteers at #GC2018
It was a family occasion for Dr Rod. His partner in crime was his lovely wife Dr Cathy Meehan who is a veterinarian at ExcelVets Robina. Joining them was their beloved children and friends.
When asked why he decided to volunteer at the Games, Dr Rod humbly responded, "It was an altruistic event where we got to be part of a greater community at which we built once in a lifetime memories. Our children took part as well so we're proud to say the Meehan family were all involved. Cathy and I volunteered at Expo 88 and have shared many amazing life experiences together. This was a chance to share another once in a lifetime event and we were able to share it with our children who are of influential age."
The Meehan family took part in the Opening Ceremony and worked in various roles throughout the Games in 'Spectator Services' where they helped people to seats, assisted the disabled, provided catering and so much more.
"We were the lucky ones," Dr Rod laments. "We got to watch the Games more than anyone else and that was pretty cool."
The best of the 2018 Commonwealth Games
We are proud of Dr Rod's involvement in the 2018 Commonwealth Games and his feedback about the experience is inspirational. Dr Rod advocates seizing opportunities when they present themselves. When asked about volunteering at the Games the message he most wanted to share is, "Life presents you with moments. you have to seize them. When it's gone, it's gone, and there's nothing you can do after that. When the opportunity to be part of a huge event like the Commonwealth Games presented we chose to volunteer and we now have some amazing family memories as a result."
At the forefront of the amazing family memories, Dr Rod has one to share that gives us goose bumps. His son is a 1,500 metre runner who competes at national level. Dr Rod, Dr Cathy and their talented son watch the Game's 1,500m Final together, amidst the excitement and fanfare, as a family. Shared family experiences like that are rare.
Dr Rod and family enjoyed their time volunteering at the 2018 Commonwealth Games
When asked what was most challenging about being a volunteer at the 2018 Commonwealth Games Dr Rod replied, "There were a lot of late night rehearsals for the Opening Ceremony requiring compromise around my responsibilities at Animal Emergency Service Carrara. That was challenging but I also got to spend time with my family building memories. There are few things you can do these days with teenage sons. I got to watch a phenomenal moment that was the 1,500m final with my son and that was a fantastic experience given his talent in the field. There are so many memories from the Commonwealth Games we'd be here forever if I told you about them all. Building memories with family overrides any challenges."