Behind the curtain

Behind the Curtain

Hear from patients at Bendigo Health

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. 


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.


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.