Palliative care facilities at the Armidale Regional Hospital have been given a big boost with the donation to the unit of two special beds by students at The Armidale School.
The beds, sourced from local business Acacia Medical Supplies, were purchased with around $5000 raised as part of several school initiatives, including a number of plain-clothes days and collecting donations at two of this year’s home rugby fixtures. The school’s 124-strong team in this year’s City to Surf run in Sydney also made the cause its focus, proudly emblazoning it on their running shirts.
Students took to the cause, also inspired by the efforts of one of their Year 12 classmates Sam Carmichael, whose father Rhod was having treatment for male breast cancer. While the Carmichael family’s appeal raised around $14,000 from across the community for oncology services, the students’ efforts were directed to purchasing portable beds for the palliative care unit, identified as an area of need. The two portable beds and inflatable mattresses will be used both in the hospital and the homes of palliative care patients.
“At TAS there is a strong focus on service to others, and that means giving back. It is the valiant efforts of the 120 participants at the City to Surf that is the best example, I think, of what we are about as a school,” Senior Prefect Ben Moffatt said.
“It is the leadership of Sam, a close friend of mine, and his initiative to support of the Armidale Oncology Unit that acted as an inspiration for the rest of the school to assist the unrelated efforts to boost resources at the Palliative Care Unit.”
Headmaster Murray Guest, who was a member of the school’s City to Surf team, said it was fitting that a local focus was the beneficiary of the students’ endeavours.
“It is commendable that the prefect body has chosen to assist such a valuable and worth local cause, with the purchase of resources from an Armidale business that will improve the quality of life of people from our region in their time of need.”
Oncology social work manager Fiona Ord said the beds will be a great asset.
“Having a bed like this gives our patients the choice to receive palliative care from the comfort of their own homes rather than in a hospital setting,” Ms Ord.