Free Clinic Bus to the rescue after North Arm Cove man’s cancer diagnosis

Gary Sylvaney.


WHEN North Arm Cove local Gary Sylvaney was diagnosed with cancer recently, stress and uncertainty about the future began to set in.

“When I was recently diagnosed with a form of cancer somewhat common for males, information at first was slow to materialise, so stress levels were quite high,” Gary said.

When it was then advised that treatment would require four weeks of radiation, five days a week at the Mater Hospital, for around 5 minutes each day, further concerns arose.

“How would we cope transport wise?” asked Gary.

“Self-driving was out of the question due to the side effects of radiation and hormonal treatment.”

With his travel options limited, Gary’s wife came across a leaflet for a ‘Free Clinic Bus – Free Transport For Medical Welfare Appointments’.

“The service picks up from homes in Tea Gardens, Hawks Nest, North Arm Cove, Karuah and the Pindimar turn off for medical, optical, dental, xray, radiation, pathology etc.

“The service also visits patients in hospitals and out of town nursing homes.

“Carers are also welcome.

“A phone call to the Bookings Coordinators number listed on the Leaflet soon had my transport problems solved.

“The Clinic Bus collected me from home, took me to the Mater, and then collected me after my treatment for return to home.”

Gary used the service for a total of 20 days.

“I cannot speak highly enough of this service and the wonderful volunteers who safely provided not only on time transport but also care for the journey.”

“With deepest gratitude to the wonderful guys and gals I have had the pleasure of meeting and sharing my journeys with, both drivers and patients.

“We really are privileged to live in this very special part of our great company.”

Gary was surprised that more people weren’t aware of the service.

“When I mentioned this experience to some Cove neighbours, like me they had been unaware of its existence.”

Ron Conaghan of the Free Clinic Bus, said that after a tough 2020, the service was ready to support the community in 2021.

“2020 was a disaster having to close for four months thus depriving many of a visit for Medical appointments,” Ron said.

“2021 has started with great responses from the community.

“In February we can advise the Bus assisted 30 persons to attend their medical appointments, safely and on time.

“To date in March (as of March 20), the bus has been able to assist 29 persons and I feel we will exceed 30 this month (April).

“The volunteer drivers have responded to the increase with gusto and many thanks for their efforts,” said Ron.

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