Ken Simpson, shortly before his passing, helped Wedgetail to fundraise.
Ken Simpson, shortly before his passing, helped Wedgetail to fundraise. Contributed

Dying man pays last tribute to Tweed charity

HOMELESS indigenous man Ken Simpson faced a grim, cold death on the streets if it weren't for the care provided to him by the Wedgetail Retreat, at Dulguigan.

The state's only adult hospice, the non-profit Wedgetail Retreat comprises a large four-bedroom property about 10 minutes from Tumbulgum, offering free palliative care nursing and home-cooked meals.

Mr Simpson, 52, required end-of-life care for four weeks before he died just before Christmas last year.

In the last moments of his life, he paid heartfelt tribute to Wedgetail Retreat, saying it was "the best place he'd ever been".

But not all stories end sadly. Tweed man, Greg Buchanan, 56, who was diagnosed with advanced stage-four bowel cancer and needed free palliative care support, was able to return home after care through Tweed Palliative Support.

His story is featured in a new fundraising video for the hospice which needs to raise over $500,000 each year for nursing care, equipment, groceries and maintenance.

Tweed Palliative Support president Meredith Dennis said the charity was highlighting its award-winning work for the vulnerable and disadvantaged as part of Palliative Care Week, on until May 28.

"The charity is not government funded and clients come from all spectrums of the community: those who can, pay but many aren't able to," she said.

 

Tweed Palliative Support president Meredith Dennis, committee member Sue Evans, Wedgetail Retreat palliative client Ken Simpson and Wedgetail Retreat nurse Kelly Northeast.
Tweed Palliative Support president Meredith Dennis, committee member Sue Evans, Wedgetail Retreat palliative client Ken Simpson and Wedgetail Retreat nurse Kelly Northeast. Contributed

"Wedgetail saves the government hundreds of thousands of dollars each year, yet our pleas to the Health Minister Jillian Skinner for funding have not been answered."

Ms Dennis said the non-profit group was urgently seeking people to help vulnerable and disadvantaged members of the community, through home-hospice support, live-in hospice, loan of equipment, educational and Sunshine 'Pamper' Days for terminal patients.

"We rely on donations and urgently need community, business support or bequests," Ms Dennis said.

 

Unemployed Tweed man Greg Buchanan was diagnosed with advanced stage-four bowel cancer when he needed free palliative care support.
Unemployed Tweed man Greg Buchanan was diagnosed with advanced stage-four bowel cancer when he needed free palliative care support. Contributed

Information: www.wedgetailretreat.com.au, www.tweedpalliativesupport.com.au



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