2 June 2023

Lions club donates high-tech chair as mobile comfort zone for hospital renal patients

| Shri Gayathirie Rajen
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 four people with wheelchair

South Wagga Lions Club donated a Prime Transport Chair worth more than $4000 to Wagga Base Hospital’s Renal Unit. Pictured (from left) are Lions club board member Gloria Pascoe, volunteer Therese, nursing unit manager Mitch Woods and club president Michelle Henderson. Photo: Shri Gayathirie Rajen.

Therese, who requires dialysis five hours a day, three days a week, knows all too well the benefits of an excellent patient transport chair.

South Wagga Lions Club donated a Prime Transport Chair worth over $4000 to Wagga Wagga Base Hospital during Kidney Health Week (21-27 May).

The chair is used to assist with patients’ mobility when navigating the service and commuting to and from their method of transport. It is equipped with back smart-push handles, stand-to-assist armrests, flip-up footrests, and a one-touch central brake. It holds more than 200 kilograms and has big-wheel manoeuvrability.

When diagnosed with kidney disease 21 years ago, Therese found it confronting to comprehend that her health was in decline each year.

Thus began her association with Wagga Base Hospital’s renal team, which has helped Therese to manage her illness as well as take care of her overall wellbeing and mental health.

“I feel fortunate to have been able to access the education, interventions and care that delayed dialysis for so many years,” Therese said.

She has found a silver lining in her journey, given she now needs three days of dialysis.

“I suppose I feel lucky in a way. You do what you can on the days that you do not require dialysis, and I have great support from my family, friends and the renal team,” she said.

“I get four good days each week where my health is not too bad, while other people managing serious illnesses may not get that luxury; they may feel unwell every day.

“I have been blessed with beautiful children who give me continuing support and I am well enough to enjoy outings still.”

As a member of the South Wagga Lions Club, Therese feels fortunate to be part of an organisation that works hard to help raise money for the Wagga community and the hospital’s renal service.

READ ALSO Auxiliary makes its biggest donation to Wagga Base Hospital

Wagga Renal In-Centre nursing unit manager Mitch Woods said the chair was diverse in its function and the clients it could support.

“The features the chair holds put this type of chair in the high echelons of wheelchairs,” Mitch said.

“It meets our business needs in terms of infection control, it’s durable, lasts for a long time and is easy to service.”

Wagga Renal Unit currently has 62 permanent clients who receive haemodialysis.

Mitch said the hospital was lucky to have had a long-standing relationship with the Lions club for more than 15 years.

“They are a remarkable organisation within our wider community, who have also been impacted by renal disease with some of the members,” he said.

“[The] Lions have contributed to our service over the years significantly, and it’s something that we’re very proud of.

“We are thankful for the support from South Wagga Lions Club’s donation.”

READ ALSO Pensioner rides bike from Griffith to Temora for mental health cause

Mitch said people could lose up to 90 per cent of kidney function before they became symptomatic.

“The big message is: go to your GP, get a blood test, get your blood pressure checked, get your blood sugar done and provide a urine sample,” he said.

“It is the best thing you can do to prevent getting kidney disease and maximise your quality of life.”

South Wagga Lions Club president Michelle Henderson said supporting members of the community who suffered from kidney disease had a special place in the organisation’s heart.

“We feel it is important to help the hospital whenever we can,” she said.

Michelle said the money raised for the chair had come from two barbecues at Bunnings.

The president, who has been with the club for 12 years, said the passion for giving back to the community was an ”inbred feeling” to help.

The club is looking for members. To join, contact Louise Jacobsen on 0412 931 418.

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