Clinic business

Free Clinic Bus supports residents in times of need

FOR those who live on the Myall coast, access to infrastructure like hospitals is often a challenge.

Fortunately, for those in need of medical attention, the area has a free clinic bus.

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Jan Peeters told News Of The Area: “This service is volunteer run, a door to door service for medical, optical and dental appointments.”

The bus runs daily and takes people to appointments in Raymond Terrace, Newcastle and Maitland.

If you need transport to medical appointments, call 0403 657 195 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. to make a reservation.

“We serve Tea Gardens, Hawks Nest, North Arm Cove and Karuah.”

Swan Bay resident Tracy Wolter used the bus for lifesaving treatment.

At 43, Tracy heard what she describes as four sickening words: “We found a mass.”

“I have never felt so scared or anxious as I did then; I was diagnosed with a brain tumor on my right parietal/occipital lobe.

Tracy underwent surgery to remove the tumor and was diagnosed with grade 2 oligodendroglioma.

Tracy has two beautiful children who had already lost their father in a fatal motorcycle accident seven years earlier, when they were only two and six years old.

After Tracy’s first craniotomy, she started a surveillance MRI – it was the start of the new normal.

Four years later, after a routine MRI, Tracy was told the tumor had returned.

The surgery revealed a grade 3 oligodendroglioma, and because of it Tracy was no longer able to drive.

However, his treatment regimen was to undertake daily radiotherapy for six weeks.

On the clinic bus, the radiation oncology nurse sent the list of daily appointments.

“I would get a phone call with the pick up time and every morning just on time the bus would arrive.

“During this time, I have met various wonderful drivers who volunteer their time, each with their own story.”

There were often other passengers on board, making their own journey through the roller coaster of the medical world.

“The driver/passengers would listen if I wanted to talk, they would engage in conversation and also on tough days they would be quiet so I could rest.”

“Some days we had time for coffee, scones (morning tea date) while waiting for other passengers’ appointments.

“Overall, the clinic bus gave me something fun to look forward to every day.

“The clinic bus was a big distraction from what I was dealing with every day and made me feel like I was not alone.

“It allowed me to pick up necessities while waiting for other passengers at Raymond Terrace – what a great guy Merv is!”

Tracy says she couldn’t have done it without the Free Clinic Bus and thanks everyone involved.

By Marianne Samson