TRAVELLING to Launceston several times a week for dialysis is now a thing of the past for many patients.
The North West Renal Unit, which was set up to take 15 patients – 30 over two shifts, now has an enhanced capacity for 45 patients.
Dialysis patient Chris Mawby was pleased when the renal unit in Burnie was expanded.
Mr Mawby was fortunate enough to have a mother-in- law in Launceston he could stay with while he received dialysis treatment after his kidney was removed.
Before Mr Mawby was given a place in the Burnie renal unit, he spent 11 weeks in Launceston.
“It was really good to get home,” Mr Mawby said.
Mr Mawby has lost both kidneys to cancer, which means he can’t have a transplant for at least five years after the cancer was removed.
Having a larger renal unit in Burnie means Mr Mawby can continue his daily activities without constant interruptions to travel to Launceston.
Mr Mawby hopes to eventually get to the point where he can do a nocturnal dialysis at home five days a week, rather than doing the dialysis Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
“When I do go home I’ll miss this lot [nurses and patients]. We are a family and we keep an eye on each other,” Mr Mawby said.
However, Mr Mawby said he was looking forward to spending more time with his wife. “The biggest thing has been my wife. She is my treasure and I would be lost without her,” he said.
Minister for Health Michelle O’Byrne was yesterday able to visit the renal unit for the first time since her department provided the funds to employ more staff.
“We’re really pleased we have been able to grow this service and I look forward to the opportunities in home dialysis,” Ms O’Byrne said.
LIFE-SAVING TREATMENT: North West Renal Unit dialysis patient Chris Mawby explains the dialysis process to Minister for Health Michelle O’Byrne (second left) with the help of registered nurse Karen Pearce (left) and acting nurse unit manager Jen Reynolds. Picture: Meg Windram.
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