David Oscienny sits on the West Coast General Hospital’s new physio equipment. Behind him, from left to right: Chris Francey (WCGH Foundation business director), Gill Kamma (physiotherapist) and Pam Rardon (WCGH site director). ELENA RARDON PHOTO

David Oscienny sits on the West Coast General Hospital’s new physio equipment. Behind him, from left to right: Chris Francey (WCGH Foundation business director), Gill Kamma (physiotherapist) and Pam Rardon (WCGH site director). ELENA RARDON PHOTO

West Coast General Hospital benefits from new physiotherapy equipment

New equipment was donated to the WCGH Foundation

West Coast General Hospital in Port Alberni will benefit from a new piece of physiotherapy equipment thanks to a donation to the WCGH Foundation.

The donor, David Oscienny, had originally purchased the equipment for his father. At the age of 95, Oscienny’s father had a stroke that left him partially paralyzed. Oscienny and his sister purchased the machine and had it transferred to Vancouver Island and the Campbell River Hospital.

“We did everything we could to try and help him rehabilitate,” said Oscienny.

The machine is “a flexible device,” said Oscienny, that is similar to an exercise bike. It has braces to hold the body in place and allows users to “retrain” their limbs. The seat for the machine is also removable, allowing an opportunity for those who are wheelchair-bound to exercise.

Oscienny’s father passed away just 15 days shy of his 100th birthday, leaving behind the “practically new” exercise equipment. Oscienny and his sister looked at the hospitals in Campbell River and Port Alberni, ultimately determining that the WCGH’s need was greater.

So Oscienny reached out to Chris Francey, business manager for the WCGH Foundation, and offered the equipment.

“It was just a matter of finalizing it to get it down here,” said Francey. “It really is a plus for the physio department.”

Gill Kamma, a physiotherapist at West Coast General Hospital, said the machine is already being used by patients. “It’s excellent,” she said. “It’s been well-used since we got it.” The new equipment “diversifies” what the department owns already, and allows flexibility for wheelchair users.

“We donated it to where we felt it would be of the most service to the community,” said Oscienny. “We want it to do some good for the people in this community.”

The WCGH Foundation is one of the fundraising partners of the hospital, and has raised funds over the past 28 years to purchase essential equipment for the hospital. Currently, the Foundation is fundraising for the purchase of a “much-needed” ultrasound machine for the Medical Imaging Department. So far, they have raised $67,000 of their $100,000 goal.

For more information about the Foundation, contact wcghfoundation@viha.ca or call 250-731-1370, ext. 48148.

elena.rardon@albernivalleynews.com