Christmas dinner at home at lastBy Laura McCardle
December 15, 2011
A renal patient who has received dialysis treatment at Royal Berkshire Hospital (RBH) for more than 11 years will be able to enjoy his first Christmas dinner in as many years thanks to a new home service.
Ray Vincent, 67, has visited the hospital three days a week for four hours at a time since a kidney he received during a transplant operation began to fail in 1999.
But he will no longer have to travel from his Hartslock Court home, in Pangbourne, for treatment.
He is the first RBH patient, and 59th in the country, to have a new hi-tech mini dialysis machine installed at his home.
The machine is portable and will completely transform his life as Mr Vincent will now be able to go on holidays without worrying about being close to a hospital.
It is linked up to his home water supply and he will be able to use it six days a week for shorter periods of time, which will allow him to enjoy a much more flexible diet, including a Christmas dinner, and the occasional pint of beer.
Mr Vincent, who first suffered with kidney failure in 1979 and received dialysis treatment until his transplant operation in 1989, has been using the machine at RBH while staff trained him in how to use it and thought it was “fantastic”.
He said: “There’s not much flexibility in hospital but with this you can choose when you want to use this.
“I’m looking forward to feeling better, having more freedom with my diet and being able to stand at the bar and order a pint. This Christmas will be totally different now.”
Mr Vincent’s wife Laurie said: “It will just be nice that we’ll be home together. It’s not having to worry about what he eats and drinks and about him being well.
“Already his skin is pink for the first time in about 12 years and his eyes are much clearer.
“He’s just much better.”
Over the next few months a total of seven renal patients will join the project and undergo three weeks of training. Specialist nurses will then monitor the patients to ensure their treatment continues to be successful.
Angela Clarke, a senior staff nurse who has shown Mr Vincent how to use the machine, said: “It’s really exciting. The fact we can offer renal patients this service is fantastic.
“It’s brilliant for the patients as it's giving them an opportunity to have more control over their care.
“The plan is to roll it out and we will be taking on more patients as the service grows.”