February 21, 2019

When Charles Santos started dialysis at St. Joe’s four years ago, he knew he did not want to spend his time in a dialysis centre. He works full-time, he’s an active member at his church, and he didn’t want to stop contributing to his community in any way.

This is why he chooses to dialyze at home.

Just because a patient is in need of dialysis – a process which filters toxins from the blood when kidneys have failed – does not mean that they need to spend all their time at the hospital. Like Charles, patients can choose to dialyze at home and still call on nurses if they are experiencing any difficulty.

“There’s that comfort level that you’re not in a clinical environment,” explained Charles. “For me, because of the type of person I am, if I could call the nurses when I need to and know they have all the tools in hand…it’s a comfort.”

However, in order to help in-home dialysis patients we need the proper equipment. Portable ultrasound machines allow nurses to help in-home patients experiencing difficulty finding a blood vessel, without the patient having to come in to the clinic.

Thanks to generous donors at Havana Nights, who were inspired by this video of Charles, we raised $170,000 to purchase four new portable ultrasound machines to support in-home hemodialysis patients! In fact, the entire evening was a resounding success. Together, Gala sponsors, donors and guests raised an incredible total of $505,000 for our Hospital. Thank you!

St. Joe’s, with Niagara Health, is the largest kidney program in the country, and with proper resources, we hope to continue to grow our in-home hemodialysis program. As well as in-home patients, 600 patients visit St. Joe’s dialysis centres each week. To ensure the physical surroundings at our Charlton Dialysis Centre reflect the exceptional care provided by our staff, the Centre is in the process of being redeveloped.

When the renewal of this vital space is complete, it will be home to private and spacious patient treatment bays, separate consultation rooms that double as research spaces, a refurbished and quiet waiting area for families, a medication room to ensure efficiencies, and an updated nursing station to help improve communication between patients and care providers. We’re so close to completing this project but we need help raising the final $500,000!

Support St. Joe’s Charlton Dialysis Centre renewal by visiting stjoesfoundation.ca/donate.

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