Peeling Potatoes

Story from the Clutha Leader

Recovered Patient Graeme GeddesMilton’s Graeme Geddes is forever thankful for the introduction of the Mobile Surgical Unit – it gave him back the use of his hands. On October 7, 2010 Graeme underwent complicated hand surgery performed by orthopaedic surgeon Chris Birks, and joined the ranks of more than 700 Clutha residents who have had operations on the Bus in the eight years it has been visiting the region. 

“I can’t speak highly enough of the Bus, it’s just amazing. The bus has everything you would find and expect in a hospital surgery. I couldn’t believe how professional it was.” Mr Geddes was placed on the district health board waiting list by his doctor in July and received a phone call just three months later. The surgery was welcomed by Mr Geddes because he had been unable to use his hands after developing Dupuytren's contracture, a condition in which the fingers to curl up tightly into the palms. “The surgery on the Bus knocked off a huge amount of time and it was such a relief to get my hands back to full use.

"I am forever thankful for their service.” Mr Geddes said his condition was so bad he struggled to open a ‘stubbie’ of beer. “It was really bad; I couldn’t do anything I wanted to do. I couldn’t even peel potatoes or have a pint, it was horrible.” A year on, Mr. Geddes is still singing the praises of the mobile surgical bus. He thinks of it almost whenever he uses his hands.