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Gifts to hospital foundation keep on giving

When Don Wakefield’s stools turned black in August, he turned to Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital.

“To see where I was bleeding, Dr. Cleminson performed a colonoscopy and a gastroscopy,” said Wakefield. “I knew I had a benign tumour in my stomach but now it was ulcerated, and bleeding.”

Within days Don had surgery to remove the tumour and has now recovered.

He says he is thankful he didn’t have to face a long, worrying wait to find out the source of bleeding. He says he’s lucky he lives in the County where the hospital has seven new scopes purchased by the PECM Hospital Foundation over the last 18 months.

Last year, the County hospital’s endoscopy centre screened more than 3,100 people.

The scopes, and all equipment at the hospital, is not funded by the government, but through gifts and donations.

“Medical devices, like any technology, are always improving. Today’s diagnostic imaging equipment produces better quality pictures in less time than ever before, but the lifespan of this equipment is short,” says Penny Rolinski, executive director of the Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital Foundation.

It is for this reason the foundation has launched its Christmas Appeal Campaign requesting donations – no matter how small – to keep up-to-date equipment at the County hospital.

Funds are being raised for the regional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) machine which needs a $1 million upgrade. At eight years old and a 30 per cent increase in use over the last four years, it has reached the end of its useful life. The upgrade will improve image quality to diagnose smaller abnormalties and scanning times will be faster, and quieter. A moving table with better ergonomics will also improve patient safety.

“My experience having an MRI this past year was nothing but positive,” said Fran Renoy, of Picton. “The technologist was pleasant, explained the procedure well and answered my questions and was even able to perform my procedure earlier than my appointment time. We are fortunate to have an MRI so close to home with such short wait times.”

Visit the Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital Foundation website www.pecmhf.ca for more information, or drop by the office at at hospital, 403 Main St., Picton. Cal 613-476-1008, ext. 4425.

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