Moree dialysis patients receive treatment in comfort, thanks to support committee’s $50,250 donation

SANTA Claus arrived at Moree Hospital a few days early this year, spreading goodwill and Christmas cheer to staff and patients – and a $50,000 cheque to help kit out the health service’s new renal dialysis unit.

Santa, also known as Moree Renal Support Committee president Will Sabine, and his hardworking team of elves on Friday presented a cheque to renal unit manager Jodie Slack-Smith and acute health service manager Bronwyn Cosh.

The $50,250 cheque will pay for seven new patient chairs in the hospital’s brand-new renal dialysis unit that was opened in late November.

Mr Sabine said the renal support committee had raised funds through raffles held at Moree Services Club each Wednesday afternoon.

Moree Renal Support Committee president Willy Sabine (with cheque) surrounded by his hardworking committee members Luanne Edwards, Shirley Thompson, Sharon Brodie, Lola Shearer, Madonna McInnes and Meg Young (absent Allan and Barbara Stevens and del Jones, nursing staff Mellisa Counsell and Narelle Davis, patient Tom Murray, acute health service manager Bronwyn Cosh and renal unit manager Jodie Slack-Smith (Image Copyright Bill Poulos).

“On behalf of the renal support committee I’d like to present this cheque to the Moree Hospital to help pay for the new patient chairs,” Mr Sabine said.

“We raise between $650 and $900 each week at the raffles and this means we can easily raise more than $40,000 in a year.

“We have people that make small donations throughout the year as well,” he said.

The support group was formed by Willy’s late father, Sammy Sabine, in 2002 and in the following 16 years has raised more than $400,000 for Moree Hospital.

Mrs Cosh said the support committee’s donation has fully covered the cost of the chairs.

“The new chairs cost $51,000 and the renal support group has given us the total amount for those seven new chairs,” Mrs Cosh said.

“The group has been a fabulous support since 2002 and in that time $405,000 has been raised, and it’s all gone into the hospital.

“Not all of it has gone to the renal ward. We wouldn’t have a lot of equipment and services at the hospital without the renal committee.

“We have everything we need – we don’t want for anything thanks to the Moree community and the renal support committee,” Mrs Cosh said.

Renal unit manager Jodie Slack-Smith (left), Moree Renal Support Committee president Will Sabine and acute health service manager Bronwyn Cosh (Image Copyright Bill Poulos).

The new, roomier renal dialysis unit is now equipped with eight chairs – three more than its predecessor – as well as an isolation chair, essential for patients at risk of infection or who require private treatment, something not previously available in Moree.

The new unit also allows visitors to Moree to access treatment.

“We are now able to have people who come to Moree for holidays or to visit their family. They can arrange to come for a certain number of weeks and have their treatment here which is something we weren’t able to do regularly before,” Mrs Cosh said.

Renal unit manager Jodie Slack-Smith said the new unit was a vital addition to Moree Hospital.

“We are very thankful for the space and to be able to dialyse people here in Moree, and it also gives patients and their families the room and comfort that they need,” Mrs Slack-Smith said.

“When family and friends come and visit we have more room for them to sit with their loved ones,” she said.

Words and Images: Bill Poulos