COVID-19 impact: Dutch hockey Olympian Dr Joyce treats patients

Updated: Mar 31, 2020, 08:21 IST | PTI | Amsterdam

She retired from the game at the age of 26 and completed his medical degree at the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam

Joyce Sombroek
Joyce Sombroek

Joyce Sombroek always knew how to stop the heavy, white cork ball that would fly off the astro-turf and threaten to crash into her helmet visor as she defended with stick and gloves.

She did that well for The Netherlands and the gold medal at the 2012 London Olympics, World Championship gold in 2014, back-to-back 'Best Goalkeeper' awards are testimonies to that. Now Sombroek, who is also a doctor, is at the forefront of a battle against the COVID-19 pandemic as she treats patients affected by the virus wearing a Hazmat Suit. She retired from the game at the age of 26 and completed his medical degree at the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam.

"When I finished my studies almost two years ago, I started working in the Internal Medicine, Pulmonary, Cardiology and Gastro-Intestinal departments," Sombroek, who made 117 appearances for the Oranje between 2010 and 2016, was quoted as saying by the FIH website. According to the global body's official website, Sombroek works at a medical centre in Aalsmeer, a town located 13 kilometres south-west of Amsterdam. Initial contact with patients is made via telephone in order to determine whether hospital treatment or a home visit is required.

If it is the latter, Sombroek—or one of her colleagues—will assess the patient wearing a protective suit to help contain the spread of the virus. Since the majority of people have mild symptoms, they can stay at home. "A lot of people have to stay at home, and I feel grateful that I can help others. We are preparing as well as we can and it's slowly getting busier. Much of my [GP] training has been cancelled, but the most important thing is providing care to those who need it. I am really happy that I can do my job, and I think that accounts for everyone working in healthcare or other vital jobs."

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