By Bejay Browne
A PAPHOS CHARITY is on track to purchase a much needed dialysis machine for the renal unit at Paphos general hospital by the end of the year.
The unit is finding it hard to keep up with the demand for the life saving treatment as new patients are registering virtually every month. There are 11 dialysis machines in use at the hospital and one available for spares and they are all working to capacity.
Graham Brown, 64, recently took over as the chairman of the Cyprus Kidney Association (ex-pats), and is determined to raise the profile of the charity. Without their support the renal unit would struggle to survive.
“We have been going for almost 15 years but most people still haven’t heard of us. We want to change that,” he said.
Brown’s position has given him a daily purpose he said after being diagnosed with a hereditary condition polycystic kidney disease. Following the removal of one of his kidneys at a Paphos hospital, he started dialysis treatment at the general in November last year.
He is now one of many patients who need regular dialysis treatment to keep him alive. The association is a non profit charity set up in 2000 primarily to raise funds to purchase equipment for the renal unit.
Brown, like many other kidney patients, needs to have dialysis treatment three times a week. It takes around five hours for the process to be completed each time.
Each dialysis machine comes with a hefty €25,000 price tag and the registered charity is hoping to raise enough money to purchase at least one by the end of the year.
“We have already raised €14,000 towards the machine and we have lots of events coming up this year to help boost the total,” Brown said.
He said that although he is determined to raise enough to buy the machine, he may not be around to see it in use. “I was given about a year from the time I started dialysis, but you never know and I’m remaining positive.”
In addition, a further €12,000 has been raised by the charity and will be used to help purchase other necessary equipment.
“Last year we purchased a body composition machine which cost €10,000.”
Brown has just undergone his 100th dialysis treatment and says the nurses at the hospital are fantastic. “This treatment can be painful and it’s time consuming, the nurses are absolutely superb and I can’t thank them enough for all that they do.”
In the last 14 years the charity has bought oxygen masks, blood pressure monitors and a crash trolley. More recently, they have donated specialised beds, an ECG machine and a state of the art portable scanner.
They have also provided numerous computers and office equipment for the medical team as well as televisions for the patients to help relieve the boredom of their treatment.
According to Dr Lakis Yioukkas, who runs the Paphos renal unit, close to 6,000 dialysis treatments were carried out at the facility last year and new machines are urgently needed.
“Dr. Yioukkas requested another dialysis machine nearly a year ago but nothing has materialised. Most new machines end up in Nicosia anyway. That is why it’s so important that we raise enough funds for a new machine for Paphos,” Brown said.
Graham Brown at The Cyprus Kidney Association (ex-pats) can be contacted on 99 244679, www.cypruskidneyex-pats.webs.com