Sandy was born in Singapore and spent her childhood in Malaysia, where her father worked in the tin mining industry. She came to New Zealand to attend school in Christchurch, studied medicine at Otago, and apart from a year as a house surgeon in Hastings, has been working in Dunedin ever since.
Since qualifying Sandy has worked mainly in general practice. She has also pursued other medical interests: delivering approximately 100 babies a year for 15 years, working five years as a Police Surgeon and eight years with sexual assault victims. She was team doctor for New Zealand at the Manchester Commonwealth Games, for the Black Ferns for five years, and the Highlanders for six years. She has also lectured in sports medicine, been a clinical tutor in obstetrics and gynaecology, and has been involved in teaching medical students from fourth year to registrar level. She continues to be involved in high performance sport, and most recently with SCUBA diving. She is also interested in travel medicine.
She has two adult sons pursuing careers in Auckland and New York. In her spare time she keeps fit with competitive Masters swimming, weight training and geocaching. She loves to travel, and still has a list of countries that need to be explored!