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Renal unit thanks York Lions for physio equipment


Patients with chronic kidney disease at York Hospital are keeping fit while receiving dialysis thanks to a generous donation from York Lions Club.

The Lions have donated £2,000 to purchase specialised equipment for the renal unit’s physiotherapy team to help patients stay fit while they are having their treatment. Two new static chair cycles have been purchased initially so that patients can pedal while hooked up to their dialysis machine.   

The exercise-on-dialysis programme was set up in 2005 by Renal Specialist Physiotherapist Vicky Pursey.

Vicky explained: “We work with renal patients on the unit to keep them active while they are receiving dialysis. Patients attend at least three times a week for four hours or more, and often find it difficult to take regular exercise.

“Research has shown that exercise plays a vital role in reducing further ill-health in renal patients particularly those on dialysis. It helps reduce muscle wasting, cardiovascular disease, and depression. 

“Because patients spend so much time in the unit, exercising during this time is a good reliever of boredom as well as actively improving muscle strength and exercise capacity, or fitness. We provide a combination of hand and leg weights, static chair and bed cycles so more equipment means more people can exercise regularly. The secret is trying to make it fun!”

York Lions President, John Camidge, has seen first-hand how kidney disease and dialysis has affected a close family member and is keen to help local patients as well as raising awareness of the importance of joining the donor register.

John said: “The Lions hold fundraising activities throughout the year and through the tireless efforts of our members and the generosity of the public we are able to help local organisations. Every year the President is allowed to choose a recipient for a donation. Having seen what life is like for people who need dialysis, whose only hope is a transplant, I was delighted to see that we could help renal patients in such a practical and lasting way.”

Renal patient Maria Sykes, 70, has been attending the unit for around seven years and stays positive about her visits three times a week.

Maria said: “I think of it as coming to work, as the regular routine is now such a part of my life. When you get diagnosed with kidney failure you don’t know whether it’s safe to exercise so it’s reassuring to have advice from the renal physiotherapist here. Taking exercise while you are here is a great idea, it keeps you active and engaged. I am too tired to go for a walk after my dialysis so it really is a good use of my time.”

Vicky added: “We can’t thank the Lions enough, the equipment makes such a difference to patients’ overall wellbeing and it wouldn’t be possible without charitable donations such as this.” 

Vicky also runs a rehab class for renal patients in the physiotherapy gym at York Hospital. Anyone wishing to be considered for the classes should speak to a member of their renal care team.

PICTURE - Left to right:  Lions member John Cooke, Ward Sister Janet King, Lions Club president John Camidge, specialist physiotherapist Vicky Pursey, Lions past president Tony Moore, renal patient Maria Sykes and physiotherapy assistant Miriam Betts  

11 August 2017

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