Cheers for chairs

Owaka Lions Club member Alan Bichan is shown by district nurse Lynn Dawson how to operate one of...
Owaka Lions Club member Alan Bichan is shown by district nurse Lynn Dawson how to operate one of two new chairs bought for chemotherapy patients at Clutha Health First in Balclutha. Photo by Rachel Taylor.
Two chemotherapy chairs bought for Clutha Health First in what manager Ray Anton says is a tremendous example of community support for the Balclutha hospital were blessed on Wednesday.

The chairs were funded entirely by donations from the community, totalling $17,000. Mr Anton said they would provide real benefits to chemotherapy patients, as they would be able to stay in Balclutha to be treated.

"Patients will not have to continually make the trip to Dunedin for treatment, then travel back to Balclutha after receiving treatment when they are not feeling great."

The Owaka, Clutha Valley, Clinton and Balclutha Lions Clubs banded together to buy one chair, and a second was purchased thanks to the combined efforts of the Balclutha Rotary Club and Inner Wheel, the local branch of the Cancer Society and the Waikoau Runanga.

Waikoau Runanga kaumatua Maureen Wylie blessed the chairs before Mr Anton invited guests to a demonstration of how they work.

Owaka Lions Club member Alan Bichan sat in the chair while district nurse Lynn Dawson demonstrated the different positions the electric chairs could take in order to improve the comfort of the patients who had to sit in them for long stretches - in some cases for up to six hours.

Mr Anton said the decision to replace the previous chairs, which had been in use for 10 years, was made last July. Clutha Health went to the community to ask for support for the project, and was overwhelmed by the response.

"The amount of money committed could have purchased a third chair - unfortunately, we had to say no. We only have room for two chairs."



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