Pablo helps stroke patients with their recovery

WELCOME PABLO: Occupational Therapist Jenny Doust shows volunteer Yvonne Thomas the benefits of the Pablo device as a rehabilitation and assessment tool. Enjoying the demonstration were Bellingen Hospital and Pink Auxiliary members (from left to right) Margaret Sinkovic, Lindy Dudgeon, Margaret White, Shirley Blenman, Patron Nancy Hobson, Jenny Hicks (obscured), Del Slattery and President Deb Anderson.
WELCOME PABLO: Occupational Therapist Jenny Doust shows volunteer Yvonne Thomas the benefits of the Pablo device as a rehabilitation and assessment tool. Enjoying the demonstration were Bellingen Hospital and Pink Auxiliary members (from left to right) Margaret Sinkovic, Lindy Dudgeon, Margaret White, Shirley Blenman, Patron Nancy Hobson, Jenny Hicks (obscured), Del Slattery and President Deb Anderson.

Bellinger River District Hospital has become the first hospital in rural NSW to use a revolutionary piece of medical equipment that helps stroke patients with their recovery.

Pablo is an arm-hand therapy and evaluation device that uses virtual reality technology and the expertise of occupational therapists to improve the quality of life, independence and pain management of stroke patients. It also helps with the rehabilitation and recovery of patients who experience upper limb and hand movement difficulties due to accident or disease.

Pablo’s neuro-rehabilitation capabilities were this week explained to Bellingen Hospital and Pink Auxiliary members, who donated the device thanks to public support for their regular raffles and street stalls.

The volunteers’ annual general meeting was held on 11 July where it was revealed the $8100 Pablo accounted for just over half of the Auxiliary’s donations to Bellingen Hospital in the past 12 months.

The group’s support for the hospital and its patients resulted in medical equipment valued at $15,263 being donated during the 2016-17 financial year.

The annual general meeting saw Deb Anderson returned as president for a fourth consecutive year and Yvonne Thomas elected treasurer for an 11th year.

Mrs Anderson thanked Bellingen Golf Club, and in particular Neville Kildney, Bellingen and Urunga residents and the auxiliary’s volunteers for their support throughout the year.

“I am extremely proud of the efforts of our members, and thank every person for their dedication and effort in fundraising for the benefit of our hospital,” Mrs Anderson said.

“Another (financial) year has come to an end, successful only thanks to the hard work of our small band of members.”

Acting Deputy Director of Nursing Lisa Slater was also present at the Auxiliary’s AGM, and praised the hard work and dedication of the volunteers.

“We are so very grateful for your support,” Ms Slater said.

“Your commitment and dedication makes a world of difference to our patients, and for that the entire Bellingen community can be very thankful.”

Anyone wanting to make new friends while supporting their local hospital can phone Mrs Anderson on 0409 311 349 for details about joining the Auxiliary.