Behind the curtain

Behind the Curtain

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From 50,000 emergency department presentations to 13,000 surgeries, Bendigo Health treats thousands of people each year.

Yet the statistics, illnesses and diagnoses are just half the story.

This series highlights the story behind some of the people we care for on a daily basis. 

Home comforts 'the best medicine' for cancer survivor

Jill Jager thought nothing of her regular trips to the toilet during the night.

But when she mentioned during a carer’s assessment, she was quickly put in contact with a continence nurse.

Less than a month later she was on the operating table, having been diagnosed with bladder cancer.

Jill spent three unhappy weeks in hospital but her reocovery improved when she was transferred to Bendigo Health’s Hospital in the Home (HITH) service, which provides at-home care for patients that would otherwise be admitted to hospital for treatment.

“Just being able to potter around in garden made a huge difference. It’s been brilliant and helped my recovery greatly,” she said.

 Read more about her story here.

Adalie thriving after stroke in the womb

Adalie Fawkner was two days old when her parents noticed something unusual.

“It started off as a sort of rhythmical tapping which we were later told were seizures,” father Daniel said.

After being taken to the Mercy Hospital for Women in Melbourne, the first time parents were told their daughter had suffered a perinatal stroke.

Perinatal strokes are caused by blood clots and can occur from the middle of a pregnancy to the first month of a newborn’s life.

Her parents hope sharing her story will raise awareness of paediatric stroke. 

Read more about her story here.

Musician's near death experience

Eating contaminated chicken has changed Ben Gibbons life. 

And the former music teacher believes it's been for the better.

A burst bowel left him in Bendigo Health's Intensive Care Unit for a week, followed by months of "horrific recovery". 

Being confronted with his own mortality has changed Ben's perspective on life.

Read more about his story here.


Laurence's lengthy battle with vascular disease

Nine unsuccessful operations would wear down most people, but not Laurence Stidworthy.

The former Papa New Guinea junior swimming champion has overcome many hurdles in his life since being diagnosed with muscular dystrophy as a 20-year-old. 

He fought the dystrophy, when many told him he would be in a wheelchair by 40,  and was later diagnosed with vascular disease.

Read more about his story here.


Teenager refuses to be defined by rare disease

Kiama Birrer is one of two Central Victorians, and 60 Australians, to suffer from Pompe Disease - a rare metabolic disorder which damages muscle and nerve cells.

She has a fortnighly enzyme replacement infusion at Bendigo Health to keep the symptoms at bay and help her live a normal life.

The Birrer family hopes newborn screening for the disease can be introduced in the future.

Read more about her story here.

Casey's push for regular cervical screening

Casey MacIntyre did everything right.

In 2015, like many other Central Victorians, she got a cervical screening test.

Nothing was found.

“I was just unlucky, the cancer was too far up the cervix, and they couldn’t detect it,” she said.

Earlier this year Casey, 29, was diagnosed with Stage 4 cervical cancer, which is incurable, and is undergoing intensive chemotherapy.

She hopes her story will encourage more Victorians to take control of their health by getting a cervical screening test.

Read more about her story here.