People urged to not give up yet; keep writing to Govt

Those who want to save neurosurgery in Dunedin should not let up now, intensive care nurse Pam Adams says.

Ms Adams and her son, George Clarke (20), who required lifesaving emergency surgery after a fall on a Southland farm when he was 13, became the public faces of the campaign to save the Dunedin service when they appeared in a front-page article launching the Otago Daily Times campaign last month.

The response to the campaign to retain neurosurgery in Dunedin had been what she had hoped, Ms Adams said.

"I had hoped that once the gate opened, people would come forward, as they have."

She urged those who had personal neurosurgery stories to tell to send those, with family photographs attached, to the panel reviewing neurosurgery services for the South.

The photographs would help to "make it real" for the panel.

In her intensive care work, she had noted the effect seeing photos of patients' families could have.

She also asked those who had not yet made their feelings known to the Government to do so.

The panel needed to hear the views from the people of the South so it could look at the situation thoroughly.

She hoped that through this, the right decision would be made and the issue would not need to be revisited in a few years' time.

Ms Adams said she was particularly pleased with the support for the campaign from specialists outside the neurosurgery discipline, the wider hospital scene and the medical school and University of Otago.

While she knew the issue was "that big", the articles about this had been enlightening because they had been able to provide detail on the "true implications".

She reminded people the siting of the service was not just about Dunedin, but affected everyone in Otago and Southland.

It was not just an issue about a "person called George Clarke".

Ms Adams said her son, a university student, had attracted much attention after the initial coverage, although interest was settling down now.

It had "certainly highlighted" the issue for those in his age group.

It was wonderful to see young people at the university getting behind the campaign and circulating petitions, she said.

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