Tuesday July 11 2017
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Countdown to supermarket Countdown‘s upcoming appeal will help provide equipment for patients using Christchurch Hospital’s paediatric and neo-natal services. Sarla Donovan visited cancer sufferer, eightyear-old Jacob Matua, who benefits from the equipment JACOB MATUA has visited this place many times. He’s in the Children’s Haematology and Oncology Centre in the Riverside building at Christchurch Hospital, where’s he’s hooked up to an infusion pump dispensing the medicine he needs. It’ll be 10pm before this day’s treatment is over. After the eight-year-old started getting “headaches and tummy pain, neck pain, arm pain,” at the end of last year, a cancer diagnosis followed, along with nearly three months in hospital, getting treatment. Now he comes in for shorter stays – four days this time – and is crossing his fingers that he
WHAT A SMILE: Eight-year-old Jacob Matua, with nurse Lucy Stephenson, is using equipment that was purchased with money from the Countdown Kids Hospital Appeal. PHOTO: MARTIN HUNTER
can return to his Clyde Rd home tomorrow. Jacob’s not well enough to
attend his school, Burnside Primary, at the moment. He couldn’t even eat his birthday
chocolate cake in May: “Because sometimes I don’t eat,” he said. Charge nurse manager Chrissy
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Bond lightens the mood: “I wish I could say that!” The nurses play cards with him, including memory and skip bo. Lucy Stephenson, who is supervising today, says he’s quite the card shark. “I win every time,” Jacob says with a grin. His aunt Ula Faamoe sits with him, too, giving his mum – who has four other children including twin three-year-old’s – a break. She says he’s well at the moment: “The best I’ve seen him since starting the chemotherapy. He’s making great progress.” Beside his bed, a tall pump stand holds all kinds of medicines and beeping equipment. The $5000 stand is one of four in the centre, purchased with money from the Countdown Kids Hospital Appeal in 2013. Mrs Bond said it holds five to six pumps and keeps the medicines stable, as well as allowing nurses to easily read information on screens attached to the pumps. “DHBs find equipment like this hard to fund, because we can ‘make do’ with inferior (devices). It isn’t essential, but it just makes everybody’s life easier,” she said.
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