Hospitals’ Lottery 2012 kicks off

The Hospitals’ Lottery grand prize home in Timberlands was a gathering place for many last week for the official launch of the 14th annual event.

For many years, the Hospitals’ Lottery has raised money for necessary equipment including bedside monitors for the intensive care unit, an MRI, the helipad, specialized beds and much more.

The funds from this year’s lottery will be going towards pulmonary equipment for the respiratory department at the Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre.

Graham Moore, Hospitals’ Lottery Chair, said that last year the total funds raised reached over $350,000.

“We are on a mission this year for a complete sell-out and we can’t do that without the public’s help,” said Moore.

Prizes this year include a dream vacation package, electronics and vehicles as well as the house in Timberlands. “We have almost $1 million in prizes and the proceeds will support an immediate need in Central Alberta.”

The Lottery this year features a choice of vehicles, which Moore said has not been done in the past.

“This is the first year that we’re working to meet the needs of the winner with the vehicles whether they need a family van, SUV or sports car.”

Shannon Van Parys, project officer, said the funds raised will serve an important need by providing respiratory care to any level of need.

Tickets are one for $25, five for $100 or 15 for $250.

There will be an early bird draw on June 10 with the final deadline on June 24 and final draw for all remaining prizes on July 9.

The early bird prize this year is a truck and trailer but Moore said the winner can choose to take that or take cash to a tune of $57,500.

The house was built by True-Line Homes and Van Parys said it has turned out to be a truly stunning home.

Sylvia Barron, director of emergency and critical care at Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre, said the respiratory equipment that the funds will be going towards is very important. Included in the planned purchases are a PFT Machine and oscillators.

“These machines help in diagnosis and monitoring of diseases including cystic fibrosis, COPD and asthma along with others,” said Barron.

The new equipment will help watch for lung function changes in patients receiving chemotherapy and cardiac treatments and can help slow the progression of some diseases. The oscillator is an especially important tool for hospitals and is currently only available in Edmonton and Calgary.

“Having access to this machine will avoid patient transfers to the (bigger) cities and reduces the stress on family members as well as travel costs,” said Barron.

Bob Blair was on hand at the launch to talk about the importance of respiratory care in hospitals. After having been in a horseback riding accident, Blair required intense respiratory therapy and had some of that provided at Red Deer hospital.

“My wife kept me breathing and then the ambulance came and took me to Red Deer hospital where respiratory care took over and stabilized me,” said Blair.

Barron pointed out that respiratory therapists work with most patients that come through the hospital as well as some out-patients.

“The need is clearly there and our plan is to provide the equipment. Bob is just one example of how technology can make a difference between life and death,” said Moore.

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