Ruth was born on 30 August 1959 and trained as a State Registered Nurse (SRN) at the Mildmay Mission Hospital and the Royal London. She then went on to do her midwifery at the Mayday Hospital in Croydon. Her last qualification was a Health Visitor Diploma at Ewell College.
During the course of her career in helping others, she has worked for: Christian Outreach in Thailand; Médecins Sans Frontières in Honduras; Christian Outreach in the Sudan; Save the Children in Somalia; and Emergency Care for Children in Peru. She learned Spanish, and travelled in 21 different countries.
After working for two and half years as a Health Visitor in England, she joined World Vision in 1992, and worked in Cambodia for four years. During her work there, she met Dr. Yves Coyette who was working with Médecins Sans Frontières. They were married in 1996, and adopted two little Cambodian girls, Sophie (1996) and Akkara (1998). They moved to Belgium in 2000, where they have now settled in a beautiful house. The girls attend the nearby local school, and Yves is a doctor in the Emergency Unit at a Brussels Hospital.