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Making new friends at Wishlist’s hospital house

Bob Hanson has stayed at Reed House for seven weeks while he receives regular treatment at SCUH.

It’s expected that receiving regular treatment in hospital would take its toll on your mood, but the spirit of Robert (Bob) Hanson couldn’t be brighter.

Bob is in his seventh week of treatment at the Adem Crosby Centre Clinic in the Sunshine Coast University Hospital (SCUH), for radiation therapy following stomach surgery he had back in December to remove a cancerous tumour.

During this time, the 76-year-old Gympie man has stayed at Reed House.

Bob said receiving a Reed House brochure at the reception desk of Gympie Hospital was nothing short of a dream come true for him.

“I had driven to my first appointment, but after receiving a hefty needle I got really drowsy and knew the side effects wouldn’t be safe to drive home with,” he said.

“What is great about Reed House is that I can stay somewhere beautiful and peaceful, with friendly volunteers and a driver to take me to all my appointments.

“The driver and I have become quite good friends, sometimes we will stop on the way back and get some dinner together.”

Both Bob and his wife Carol have lived on a Gympie property since he retired 12 years ago, it is also home to chickens, geese and two working dogs.

After Carol had previously needed surgery at SCUH for a broken ankle, and with a farmyard of animals to maintain, the Hanson couple decided Bob would stay at Reed House alone while Carol took care of things back home.

“Someone had to hold down the fort while the boss was away,” Bob laughed.

Originally, Bob was worried he would be lonely at Wishlist’s Nambour hospital house – he quickly learned this was not the case.

“I met an old chap Graham staying at Reed House who had just lost his wife,” he said.

“I’ve got a few miles up on the speedo of life, and I could tell the poor guy was a bit down and in need of some company – so I did what I could to take care of him.

“I absolutely love cooking so instead of making food for just me I started cooking for him too, and when he left to be with his niece in Southport I drew him up a map so he wouldn’t get lost.”

As well as making friends with people, Bob also has a love of animals.

“At 7am sharp everyday two Currawong’s come and sit on the Reed House patio, waiting for me to give them some breakkie,” he said.

“It really is so wonderful. The people, the solitude, the environment – it’s in an element of its own and there’s no complaints coming from me.”