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Bariatric Chair donated by Sarah Eldridge

Local resident and business owner of Trinity Bookkeeping, Sarah Eldridge, witnessed first-hand the high quality care and compassion that was given to her late father when he spent his last weeks in the Werribee Mercy Hospital.

On the anniversary of her father’s passing she wanted to honour his life by doing something to help others, and to show her gratitude for his medical care. After witnessing his vulnerability and pain, her wish was to provide the hospital with a resource that would help alleviate the discomfort of future patients. Sarah chose to donate a bariatric chair to the Werribee Mercy Hospital to support patients that were receiving treatments, and her generous and thoughtful gesture will make a positive impact on hundreds of people within our community.

We met up with Sarah to discuss her donation and express our gratitude, and asked her the following questions:

A bariatric chair is a very useful hospital resource, what motivated you to make this donation?

I was with my Dad during his final days and one of the few things that I had control over to help him, was to try and make his days more comfortable. Whenever possible, I tried to make sure he didn’t have to exert himself unnecessarily. The chair was on the list of items that the hospital needed, and I thought it would be perfect and ticked all of the boxes for me.

In what ways do you hope your gift will help its recipients?

My hope is that a patient can find a place of comfort when they are in a vulnerable place during and after their treatment. Movement is an issue for patients at this time, and the chair allows for patients to be wheeled out so they can be moved easily. Something as simple as letting a patient look out of a window at a garden, for instance, can make a world of difference. If this can be done with minimal exertion to the patient, then all the better.

What does having a local hospital mean to you?

Having a local hospital is such a bonus for our community because we have easy access and don’t have to travel very far to reach it. We have used both the Emergency Department and regular services at the hospital, and we are very thankful for the care provided. As I get older and see my older friends in need of medical care, I realise that the hospital is a key asset for Wyndham when attracting new residents, and for supporting the ones already here.

Are there any hospital resources in particular you would like to see the Foundation support funding for?

I believe the Emergency Department could use additional assistance. Wait periods are long and having a comfortable space with a few amenities would really help those suffering while waiting to be seen.

Why is supporting your local community important to you?

The people in the community are what makes living in an area enjoyable. I am so glad to have been part of the Wyndham community for the past 22 years, and although I have seen the area grow and change, I would like the community to continue having a ‘small-town feel’, where we are kind and considerate of each other. I think it’s up to each of us to do our bit because what goes around comes around. How good would it be to live in a place where we all look out for each other and support each other, especially the vulnerable.

Did you find the gifting process easy?

Is was extremely easy to do this. Lee made the process very smooth and ensured my wishes were met.

Have you supported the Foundation and your local hospital prior to gifting the chair?

Yes, I have taken part in some fundraising activities that the Foundation has undertaken.

Anything else you would like to add?
Having a hospital near us during these pandemic times has given such reassurance to the local community. If there was an urgent medical need, then help is only minutes away. If anybody is in a position to donate and wants to make a positive difference to their community, the Wyndham Health Foundation is a great charity to choose. Knowing that the Foundation passes on 100% of my donation towards my intended cause is really important to me.