Exercise gear too big for stocking fillers

Pulmonary rehab staff show off their brand-new equipment.

Christmas has arrived early for the patients and staff of Westmead Hospital’s pulmonary rehabilitation ward thanks to the Leading Better Value Care (LBVC) program.

Twenty pieces of exercise equipment valued at around $100,000 have been donated, included treadmills, rowing machines and fixed bikes, which will be used by patients to assist with their recovery and to improve their heart health.

Former Westmead Hospital chaplain and patient Brenda Robillard, who was diagnosed last year with a rare lung disease called pulmonary fibrosis, regularly uses the equipment to assist with her breathing and to maximise her lung capacity.

“I use the rower or bike once a week to improve my stamina and overall wellbeing,” Brenda said.

“I could not see myself going to a private gym to do this workout but I’m happy to visit the hospital as part of my treatment plan and use this equipment.

“The encouragement from staff makes me want to come back to work, it’s such a wonderful place to be.”

Westmead Hospital Pulmonary Rehabilitation clinical nurse consultant Mary Roberts said that one of the main areas LBVC is concentrating on is chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD).

“COPD is an inflammatory lung disease, which causes airflow to the lungs to be obstructed” Mary said.

“Pulmonary rehabilitation which incorporates specific exercises and the use of gym equipment in each patients treatment is considered to be a gold standard of care for those who have the disorder.

“We not only improve the patient’s quality of life but also reduce hospital admissions.”

LBVC program manager Faiza Wajahat explained that program aims to provide a one-stop-shop for a patients’ health experiences.

This can be achieved by facilitating a specialist meeting which is tailored to address each of the patients’ health issues at the one time.

This funding to the initiative has enabled older machines to be replaced with the latest technology in gym equipment.

To donate to the Pulmonary Rehabilitation Unit or another area of Westmead Hospital, click here.