A Victorian family's love for Shannon McKnight, their 19-year old daughter who died from leukaemia in 2016, has resulted in a Cootamundra Nursing Home gaining free equipment to set up a palliative care room.
The charity "Shannon's Bridge" has, among other things, collected discarded apparatus from hospitals, and stored it in a warehouse in Ballarat.
When two members of the board of Cootamundra Nursing Home heard about the warehouse of items from hospitals that have been renewing their equipment, they got in touch with Shannon's Bridge, the charity running it.
The home's vice-president, Jenny Apps and board member Dr Jacques Scholtz, contacted Jeremy McKnight, the father of Shannon after whom the charity was named.
They found Mr McKnight ready and willing to donate equipment to help the home set up a long dreamed-of palliative care unit.
The unit will allow dying people to spend their last days at home or in a home-like environment, supported by families and friends.
Mr McKnight and Dr Claire Hepper, who live in Creswick, know how important that is: 19-year-old Shannon spent her last days in comfort supported by her family at home, and asked that they set up a charity for others in similar circumstances.
The equipment donated includes beds and mattresses, reclining chair and high-backed chairs, a hoist and slings, an electronic whiteboard, wheelchairs, commodes, shower chairs, walkers, wall TVs, CD/radio, microwave, DVD player and ROHOs.
Also included are ten "Shannon's Packs" which contain medical equipment for use by carers, nurses or doctors to readily administer pain medication to a person at home.
Transport and storage of some of the equipment was quickly arranged with the assistance of Coopers, owned by Stephen and Trudii Cooper-Duck.
Next thing Can Assist volunteers Bob Kerr and Gloria Harris were in Ballarat being helped to load a truck full of equipment and transporting it back to Cootamundra.
The Cootamundra community has over the years supported a Rotary drive for a local oncology unit, but as that project has not been feasible the money is now being used for this project at the nursing home.
Mrs Apps and Dr Scholtz are delighted that building alterations are already under way at the home.