Could your Christmas wish help others to live a little better?
As you’re getting ready for the festive season this year, there will be some of your community heading into the San for life-saving dialysis.
Kidney and blood disease is relentless and life-altering. When your body is no longer able to filter out excess salt and chemical toxins, renal dialysis can keep kidneys functioning so that you are more able to participate in life.
Michael has been a regular at the San Renal Dialysis unit for most of this year. He spends about five hours in the ward three times each week.
“They’re lovely people here. They do whatever they can to help you and they get along well which is reflected in the way they treat you,” he says.
The San Renal Dialysis unit is a special kind of centre.
Most patients are very long term and frequent visitors, spending hours every week in the team’s care.
Lydia says: “Our patients become like our family… we see them so often, talk to them so much and share their good news and bad news just like a family would. We get excited when they have a birthday or new grand baby, and we grieve when we lose them – it’s hard but such fulfilling work.”
The Renal Dialysis Unit badly needs a bit of brightening up and some vital new equipment to help patients with blood disorders like Michael. “Bringing in more natural light would be really good for those of us who are sitting here for hours, as well as the nurses who are not sure what’s going on outside.” Michael suggested.
Updating equipment could also help reduce a patient’s visit time and make the experience better for everyone.
For instance, apheresis is a procedure that removes blood from the patient and separates out specific components.
“Our machine is good but it’s an older type. A new machine could reduce the patient’s treatment time to around two hours – that’s a huge difference and would put these patients back in their families’ arms for so many more hours over time.” says Lydia.
Christmas is the time we all think of giving to those we care about. If you have space in your heart to give a gift to your community this Christmas, I know our Renal Dialysis team, and their lovely patients like Michael, would see the benefit of that gift for years to come.