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Keeping loved-ones close when it’s needed most

Shirley and Neville Teale thanked Reed House for the support they received while Neville was a patient at SCUH.

When you’re spending tough days in hospital, it is the support of family and the comfort of home that help many patients of the Sunshine Coast University Hospital find strength.
This was incredibly important to Shirley and Neville Teale.
After five previous skin grafts, the squamous cell carcinomas on top of Neville’s head could not be completely cleared.
When Neville was told he needed daily radiation for five weeks at GenesisCare to treat the nasty skin cancer, he and his wife knew he would be too weak to travel to the Sunshine Coast University Hospital from his Gympie home every day.
“My husband is very frail and he wouldn’t have been able to travel backwards and forwards, so our only option was to stay somewhere close,” Shirley said.
As the search began for a place to stay, the elderly couple received a brochure for Reed House—Wishlist’s affordable hospital accommodation facility in Nambour.
Shirley said the second she got onto the phone to Reed House she fell in love right away and decided that’s where they would spend their weekdays, opting to travel home on the weekends.
“For me it relieved a lot of stress because I was worrying about the logistics of getting there and bringing him home,” she said.
“He is so dependent on me so we knew we had to stick together and get a bit of help.
“The days were really wearing him out too so there’s no way he could’ve done it alone.”
Shirley described the house as “peaceful,” and the Teale couple found it to be the perfect place to unwind and rest together after some of the rougher days spent in hospital.
“It was just such a relaxing place to be, we were able to make ourselves right at home,” she said.
“The house itself was lovely, and the hospital was only about a 10-minute drive away.
“We could just come back to rest and be with each other after some big days, it was wonderful.”
They made themselves comfortable, with Shirley even purchasing any extra kitchen equipment she needed and deciding to donate it to the house for whoever may need it next.
Shirley also highly commended the volunteer help her and Neville received every day during their stay.
“The volunteer ladies were amazing,” she said.
“They brought up our luggage to our room, cleaned the room and drove us to the radiation sessions every day.
“They couldn’t have been better, they even helped Neville out of the car.”
To make journeying to the hospital even easier, Wishlist’s newest project, The House The Coast Built, will be a six-bedroom home in Birtinya and only a short walk to the hospital.
Shirley said hospital accommodation that is affordable and in a convenient location is incredibly important, as it helps to make a difficult process much easier.
“If the ground is flat and easy for elderly couples to walk up I think it will be fantastic,” she said.
“You’ll be able to get a bit of fresh air and if your only option is to drive you’ll also save a lot of money that way.”
To learn more about Wishlist’s accommodation project, visit www.TheHouseTheCoastBuilt.org.