Support the Hospitals’ Lottery

It’s that time of year again when the Hospitals’ Lottery kicks off in support of specialized new equipment to serve Central Albertans.

Up for grabs are the grand prize of a beautiful True-Line built home in Timberlands, vacation packages, electronics and vehicles among others.

This year marks the Lottery’s 14th anniversary, and organizers point out that the medical equipment purchases benefits not only Red Deerians but the many communities across Central Alberta as well. Over the years, purchases have included bedside monitors for the intensive care unit, an MRI, the helipad, specialized beds and much more.

The funds this year will be going towards pulmonary equipment for the respiratory department at the Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre. The respiratory equipment includes a PFT Machine and oscillators which help in the diagnosis and monitoring of diseases such as cystic fibrosis, COPD and asthma among others.

The new equipment will also help watch for lung function changes in patients receiving chemotherapy and cardiac treatments and can help slow the progression of some diseases, officials say.

Last year the total funds raised topped $350,000 – all of which stayed in the region. This is an important cause to get behind, because we all know someone who has benefitted from services provided by the local hospital.

It’s true that many organizations call out for the community’s ongoing support, but this is especially important with the constant evolution and improvements of medical technology. Local patients will also benefit from the newly-purchased equipment as prior to now, they’ve had to travel to Calgary or Edmonton, which is just another stress and inconvenience to an already serious situation.

A local man spoke at the Lottery launch about his experience of being helped at the Red Deer Regional Hospital after being thrown off his horse in 2002.

It was later determined Bob Blair would be a high level quadriplegic – unable to breathe on his own and dependent on a ventilator. He credits the care he received in the hospital’s respiratory department in helping with the enormous life transition.

A few years ago, Blair underwent an operation to receive a diaphragmatic pacer – the first operation of this nature to be performed in Canada. Today, he lives without a ventilator and continues to visit the respiratory department every two months for ongoing care.

Blair said that it’s become all the more clear to him how vital it is that hospital staff have the most up-to-date equipment to work with to perform their jobs safely and efficiently.

It’s testimonies like these that remind us how fortunate we are to have the quality care we do, and how critical continued support is to keep it in place.