Students spend hours hand-making roses to thank healthcare workers

Inspired by the work of medical professionals responding to the pandemic, a group of medical students and high school students have come together to show their thanks to staff at the Royal Adelaide Hospital.

Ten University of Adelaide medical students designed and made 100 origami roses – each taking more than 2.5 hours to make by hand – to symbolise their “eternal gratitude”. They then teamed with Adelaide Botanic High School Year 9 and 10 students to laser cut and engrave the final products.

“I think as medical students during the COVID pandemic, we have all felt a bit restless,” organiser and third year medical student Kaviya Kalyanasundaram said.

“We came into this profession because we were all passionate about helping others, particularly in instances like this. But because we haven’t completed our training in the field there wasn’t really anything we can do medically to help.

“We wanted to do our part in saying thank you to these professionals. So, we decided came up with the idea to make origami roses to present to the frontline workers.

“I thought this concept of an eternal rose – to express our eternal gratitude – was a twist that can apply beautifully to this scenario.

“A group of Year 9 and 10 students from Adelaide Botanic High School put their hands up to be involved and worked through lunch breaks over a short timeline to design the plaque that say ‘Eternal Rose: Symbolising our eternal gratitude for your service’ and then print them on a laser cutter.”

The group spent more than 250 hours working on the project.

“We know that every minute will be worth it even if we even just put a smile of their faces,” Kaviya said.

Year 9 students Kim Mai said: “I think we speak for all students, we were really excited to show our gratitude to all of the health professionals here.

“We are really grateful for your hard work and dedication and the sacrifices you’ve made.”

The roses were graciously accepted by doctors, nurses and allied health staff at the RAH on Tuesday 21 July 2020.