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Farewell Rae - rest in peace

This is such a sad blog to post – saying a last goodbye to Rae Joy who sadly passed away this week. This message was sent to the entire Animals Asia family of current and past staff and volunteers, with our love and condolences to Rae's family and all who knew her. Rest in peace Rae. xxx

Dear everyone,

I think by now that many of you know that Rae, our vet nurse and friend in Vietnam, had been sick during her time on site and returned home to Perth, Australia to receive some specialised care. At that time, events tragically unfolded as she was diagnosed with cardiac amyloidosis, which was affecting her heart and causing it to fail. Following a bone marrow biopsy, multiple myeoloma was diagnosed too. After a short time on chemotherapy Rae elected to stop this and other treatment as she was finding it all too much, and sent a message to friends across the world in preparation for a day she knew was not too far away.

Sadly that day was this morning at 05.30am Perth time and we were advised by her friend Cree that Rae had passed peacefully away in her sleep.

While the news was expected, when it comes, it is unbelievably sad. Rae was a remarkable woman – superbly loving and professional with all the animals that came her way, and always willing to do whatever it took to make them happy and well. Rae adored the bears especially and when she wasn’t nursing or working with them, she was talking about them wherever she was – whether it was in emails, over dinner in Tam Dao, or during the times she helped our Australia team at events.

Just this past week Rae agreed that one of our bears in Tam Dao, "Song Long", pictured here, should now have the name "Rae" – and we have heard from her friends in Perth just how much this had meant to her in the last few days of her life. Rae bear will always remind us of someone so special whose life touched us all.

Annemarie, our Bear and Vet Team Director sent a message from the team in Tam Dao: “We are devastated by the loss of Rae. It is hard to comprehend that someone who still had so much to give in life could not be with us any longer.

It was a dream come true for Rae to join our team and she has changed the lives of so many bears, cats and dogs whilst working with us. We will always remember her passion for animal welfare and the joy she had from watching the bears enjoy their lives to the fullest after they had been rescued. We will miss her dearly.”

Our sincere condolences to Rae’s family. She will always be here in our hearts, and long may we see a rae of sunshine breaking through the clouds in Tam Dao.

The final words are from Rae when she wrote one of her last messages to all at Animals Asia:

Please keep on making a difference to the world – you’re a wonderful bunch

Love Rae

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