Patient proves small donations can make a big difference

Mavis Gough has her wound checked by Belinda Long

Mavis Gough has her wound checked by Belinda Long

An 87-year-old patient has found a meaningful way to thank the Royal Brisbane & Women’s Hospital (RBWH) by setting aside a 50 cent donation from her fortnightly pension.

Mavis Gough has been attending the RBWH Occupational Therapy (OT) Outpatient Clinic since 2010, when an allergic reaction to medication resulted in painful venous ulcers.

Mavis spent seven weeks undergoing treatment in RBWH, and was measured and fitted with custom made compression garments when she was well enough to go home.

The RBWH Occupational Therapy team prescribe and fit compression garments for outpatients with chronic vascular conditions and non-healing wounds, and provide advice for wound care to help reduce the need for hospital admission.

The compression garments improve blood flow, prevent backflow of fluid into the legs and swelling, provide a protective layer around the skin and improve daily function for patients.

If the wound worsens, patients are referred on to the RBWH Multidisciplinary Chronic Wound Assessment Clinic headed by Dr Di Smith and Nurse Kerrie Coleman and Occupational Therapist Belinda Long.

Despite living on the pension, Mavis wanted to give back to the hospital which has helped and cared for her and members of her family over many years.

“We’ve been coming here since we were babies,” said Mavis, who lives with her brother Don in the Herston house they were born in.

Mavis’ son Fred also lives with them. Mavis said she received “wonderful care” during her admission and decided then that the hospital deserved the support of the local community it looks after.

She started saving 50 cent pieces, which she donates to the RBWH Foundation when she attends the outpatient clinic for a wound check every six months. “It doesn’t hurt me to put it aside. It means something and I feel good inside when I do it,” said Mavis.

She encourages others to donate their spare change when visiting the hospital, believing even the smallest amount makes a big difference.

Mavis has already proven that to be true – her donations enabled the OT outpatient clinic to purchase demonstration devices that help patients to attach and remove compression garments.

Belinda Long said Mavis is a much loved and valued patient. “Mavis has been coming here for about five years. We all know her and we all love her,” said Belinda.

To find out more about supporting the Royal Brisbane & Women’s Hospital, visit the RBWH Foundation website:

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