Bingo heroine Joni's trip to destiny

FROM French Fries to chips, cookies to biscuits and private health care to the NHS, American nurse Joni Moore is about to make the biggest change of her life.

By Jessica Nicholls

FROM French Fries to chips, cookies to biscuits and private health care to the NHS, American nurse Joni Moore is about to make the biggest change of her life.

A trained nurse, she is planning to move to Ipswich to take up work within the NHS in a bid to fulfil a lifelong yearning to come to the UK.

She is set to give up a little house in Eau Claire, Wisconsin – and perhaps plump for a street in Ipswich.

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For the past two weeks, the 50-year-old has been taking in the Suffolk atmosphere to see what everyday life in Britain is really all about.

From boiling hot summers and an (almost) guaranteed white Christmas in Wisconsin, Ms Moore is planning to give it all up to follow what she feels is her destiny.

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She said: "I have always felt this connection with the UK.

"I don't know whether it is to do with my heritage or even pre-life or past life!"

Ms Moore chose to come to Ipswich after meeting friends in family chat rooms on the internet and has been reading The Evening Star website for around a year to get a flavour of life in the town - as well as looking at jobs.

On Tuesday she saw the sea for the very first time in her life as she has always lived in a landlocked part of America.

She said: "We do have huge lakes and if you stand on the dock you could think that it was the ocean but to know that this was actually the sea was great."

While she has been here she has also had a tour of Ipswich Hospital, meeting doctors, nurses and consultants to see where she might one day be working.

For ten years she worked as a firefighter and paramedic before starting work as a nurse, specialising in obstetrics and gynaecology.

She is hoping that she might be able to continue that role if her registration is accepted in Britain and she can get a job.

Luckily she has been educating herself and keeping up to date with changes in the industry.

She said: "In America, continuing education is not essential to register again as a nurse but I have found out that it is over here."

As a former firefighter and paramedic, she has been in the frontline for many horrific jobs from tornadoes to plane crashes.

She was recognised by the American Red Cross and Wisconsin state police department for saving the life of a six-week old baby by talking through the Heimlich manoeuvre with his grandfather over the phone.

Even during her visit over here she was called into emergency action when she gave mouth-to-mouth resuscitation to a woman who had collapsed at an Ipswich bingo hall as reported in the Evening Star on Wednesday.

Ms Moore has three sons. Brandon, 26 and Paul, 22, have both moved out from home and have made their own lives, but her younger son Richard, 18, is thinking about coming with her.

Joni should find out in a couple of weeks whether her registration has been accepted.

She said: "Once that is through I really have some decisions to make."

The Leader-Telegram - Joni's local paper back home in Wisconsin

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