Meredith Theobald Director of Nursing, Maree Kewish Gandarra Nurse Unit Manager, Dale Fraser Ballarat Health Services CEO and generous donor Trevor Wilson with just one of the new television sets.

GANDARRA Palliative Care Unit (Ballarat Health Service) has received a generous donation of $10,000 from Trevor Wilson and his family, to thank staff for their unlimited care of his wife Lyn, who lived at the centre last year. At a specially organised morning tea, Gandarra Nurse Unit Manager Maree Kewish said staff at Gandarra looked after Lyn for 7-8 weeks. “The first year is always the hardest and every other year an event will be hard but you know that you have a lot of love and support around you,” she said to the family.

“For us, we come here every day and yes it is a job and we all have house payments and car payments but its far more than that. “I think I speak on behalf of everyone that works for our team that we come here because of the people we get to meet, the people we get to care for and you, as families, allow us to share in a time that is the worst possible.”

Ms Kewish added that staff were always overwhelmed when families came back to thank them.

“People are preparing funerals or they are trying to sort out business but they come back to see us, it’s not what we expect and we do appreciate it and we hope in some way we can make a difference,” she said.

“I have spoken to Trevor over the last 6-8 weeks and he rang me and said that as a family he wanted to donate some money in memory of Lyn and he asked what were we thinking? I said funny you should mention that, I just had problems with a telly in room 7, which was Lyn’s room, we really need to replace that and that was what Trevor was hoping that we might be able to use his donation for.” Trevor Wilson brushed aside tears and thanks, his voice charged with emotion as he replied, “We just wanted to express our thanks to Gandarra, the amazing work you do here, the love, the care ,support that you gave Lyn and also myself.

“Lyn came to Gandarra from Geelong. Just prior to Christmas 2011 she was diagnosed with uterine cancer; she had her operation just before Christmas and was able to spend Christmas day at home. “She had to have daily treatment and caught the train every day and I think Ballarat has to realise how fortunate they are with BRICC, it’s a magnificent facility and it wasn’t there when Lyn was ill. “Lyn had to go backwards and forwards five days a week to Peter McCallum and it was a bit of a struggle for her, so she finished radiotherapy and then she had chemo.”

Trevor added Lyn had always wanted to go to Paris and he promised her that they would go. The couple spent a few years travelling, just enjoying themselves and then decided to settle in Torquay. The cancer returned in 2015 and Lyn was backwards and forwards to Peter McCallum, again. “Then the big crunch came just before the grand final in2015 when they found the tumour had spread,” Trevor said.

“Six months were pretty ordinary, she didn’t much quality of life, so it was difficult and that led us to come to Gandarra. “I can only say, once again, how fantastic everyone is, everyone is so caring, so loving, and I really can’t describe how much I really appreciate it…you treated us all so well.”