By Joel van der Veen
DAVIDSON — Patients will be hitting the hallways of the Davidson Health Centre in some sleek new wheels, thanks to a recent donation.
Members of the Knights of Columbus Council 5384 visited the centre on Dec. 21 to present a total of six wheelchairs, for use by patients at the facility.
Care team manager Cathy Hinther and assistant head nurse Ashley Anderson were on hand to accept the donation with gratitude.
Hinther said the wheelchairs were much needed — in particular, the two child-sized chairs, which the hospital had not previously had.
“We’re just so appreciative of the donation,” she said last week. “It was such a nice Christmas gift for us.”
The delivery also included two medium-sized chairs and two large-sized chairs.
Having the various sizes available makes it much easier for the staff to respond to the needs of individual patients, Hinther said.
The wheelchairs feature a distinctive red-and-black colour scheme that also makes them easy to spot and identify, she added.
The chairs, which will replace some older models, will be kept in the outpatient department and used to transport patients back and forth between various areas of the health centre.
The donation was a co-operative effort between the local K of C council and the Canadian Wheelchair Foundation, who split the cost 50/50.
Larry Packet, a member of the local council and a state warden, said the program has distributed wheelchairs to people all over the world, but is also open to requests right here in Saskatchewan.
Three years ago, he and his wife Judi travelled to Costa Rica with a group to distribute upwards of 30 wheelchairs to patients, both in their homes and at a children’s hospital.
Packet said he later gave a presentation in Saskatoon on his trip, and that same night they collected enough donations to purchase 24 chairs.
He also said he recently received a letter from one of the recipients, a high school student who was studying at home due to her disability.
The gift of the wheelchair enabled her to attend school and finish Grade 12, and now she is taking a course at a local business college.
“It’s a very worthwhile cause,” said Packet.
A donation of $190 to the Knights will be matched by the Wheelchair Foundation to provide a wheelchair for a patient in need. (The total value of each chair is just under $400.)
Anyone interested in donating towards the cost of a chair is invited to contact a member of the local K of C council.
Packet also said anyone who knows someone locally in need of a wheelchair should get in touch with himself or another council member.