Travelling for dialysis takes a heavy toll

Local renal dialysis patient Peter Bond has welcomed the news that the Cooma renal dialysis unit will be ready by the middle of next year.

And for the 67-year-old Cooma resident, being able to dialysis locally will be life changing.

"As far as I'm concerned it can't come soon enough," Mr Bond said.

Mr Bond has been travelling to the Canberra Hospital three times a week for the last 12 months for kidney dialysis.

"The dialysis takes eight hours each time, which includes two and a half hour's driving time," Mr Bond said.

"It is a very arduous process, you lose two kilos of body weight after dialysis," Mr Bond said.

"It takes me between four and eight hours to recover, but sometimes it can be two or three days."

The toll is not just felt by Mr Bond, but is shared by his wife, Pamela.

"I drive to the hospital and my wife drives me home because I am too weak afterwards to drive myself," he said.

"Sometimes things happen and it can take longer and I might have to stay overnight at the hospital.

"The hard part for my wife is she is tied up for that time. There is only so much shopping she can do while she is waiting around."

The couple leaves for the hospital at 6.20am in the morning and they get home at about 4.30pm.

"It is a big chunk out of our week. It's a hard slog," Mrs Bond said.

"The bus is not convenient. He wants to come back when he is ready."

Mr Bond said his kidneys started to fail in 1974 and have gone downhill over a long period of time.

Recently he has been undergoing dialysis at Queanbeyan Hospital and while Mr Bond is looking forward to when the dialysis unit opens in Cooma he is sceptical it will be completed by the announced date in 2013.

"You should see the dialysis unit in Queanbeyan. I can't see that the Cooma dialysis unit would be completed in that timeframe," Mr Bond said.

Mr Bond wrote to the Express last week voicing his concerns about the delay of the promised Cooma dialysis unit made by the Member for Monaro John Barilaro nearly two years ago.

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