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Letter: Interior Health should establish hemodialysis unit at Kootenay Lake Hospital for patients undergoing debilitating physical, financial hardships

Letters to the editor
By Letters to the editor
June 17th, 2024

To The Editor:

I live in a small community called Mirror Lake and I have kidney disease. My two boys live here too. Seth, the oldest, and I live together. When I was told I was sick, it was a shock. Then I was told I had to move to Trail, which was a worse shock. I tried living in Trail for four months, but I didn’t like it.

Where I live is the best therapy I could have.

I have been driving to the Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital (KBRH) in Trail for 16 years.

The drive to KBRH is long and exhausting. The time I leave my home depends on the weather.

Usually, I leave at 3:45 am in the winter. I drive my car slowly because the roads are not always cleared and because of the presence of

There are deer, elk, coyotes, mice, skunks, rabbits, and birds that can interfere with my driving. I am lucky because the drive is so beautiful.

Of course, it would be so much better for me to drive three times a week to Nelson instead, which is why I am writing this letter.

A hemodialysis unit in the Kootenay Lake Hospital would change my life. Currently, the drive to Trail is 3 (three) hours each way. I take a break in Castlegar for breakfast, and usually arrive in Trail at 6:38 a.m.

It’s a long day: 3:45 a.m. until 5 p.m.

The worst problem is the cost. Yes, I do get help from the government. I am so grateful, but the price of gas has gone up so much. The worst was that I had to buy a new car because of the number of kilometres I am putting on my vehicle due to number of trips I take to the Trail hospital. Sometimes it’s very crowded at the hemodialysis unit.

What I got for my old car on trade-in was terrible. I spend $900 a week on gas and maintenance. The cost for me has been over $250,000 in 6 (six) years.

The money I receive from the government doesn’t cover the cost of maintenance on my car.

I can’t afford a good car or high rent, so I have to live with my son. I like living near my sons. My parents died.

My sister and two brothers live in Washington and Alaska. I don’t want to live in Trail.

BC Renal and Interior Health should establish a hemodialysis unit at Kootenay Lake Hospital for renal patients living in the Nelson-Creston riding, who, like me, are undergoing debilitating physical and financial hardships.

Linda C. Barrett, Mirror Lake, BC

Categories: GeneralLettersOp/Ed

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