When it comes to marking the 10th anniversary of the Redland renal dialysis unit, Rodney Smith has a personal reason to celebrate.
The unit reached this milestone in May with its team, dressing up for the occasion in order to best celebrate the life saving service for their patients.
A foundation patient, Mr Smith has shared his 10 years at Redland with the original nurse unit manager, Sharon Cottingham.
“She (Ms Cottingham) knows me well. If anything happens [with the machine] she talks me through it, so she’s really good,” Ms Smith said.
Mr Smith’s kidneys were damaged in 2000 during a car accident and he now needs to stimulate his kidneys to filter blood.
“The staff at the unit are like my family. They are all good in here. I live in Wynnum so I get picked up by ambulance at 6.30am and we collect some other patients along the way before being brought in here. It’s is a good place.”
“It has been a privilege and an honour and it has been such a wonderful journey for all of us in the dialysis family. We have seen so many changes and gotten to know so many patients. Our staff are just fantastic and we have enjoyed this ten years together,” Ms Cottingham said.
The service started in 2006 in a temporary unit with six chairs and six patients coming in for three morning shifts a week. Now, the unit provides care for 42 patients, six days a week across both the morning and afternoon shifts.
Cleveland resident Patricia Golding who has been on dialysis for the past four years said she too was pleased there was one place available at the Redland Dialysis Unit or she would have been travelling to PA Hospital three days a week.
“We live at Cleveland so it was very lucky I could be part of the local service. All the nurses are very good to me here but Miranda, in particular, was amazing when I first came onto dialysis,” she said.
Ms Golding said she struggled with depression after her diagnosis of kidney failure but said the nurses were so good, talking her around to the reality of life with five hours a day, three days a week on the machine.
“It’s a bit like school; we always have the same chairs, the same people nearby in their allocated spot, but a different nurse. I have my main buddy who sits next to me and he’s good company.”