Dallas (back left) and Kelly Gittins (front) are proud their late mother contributed to the purchase of home care equipment for the Coffs Harbour Regional Cancer Service. They are pictured with regional cancer service’s Margaret Pearce and Palliative Care’s Bev Parkes.
Dallas (back left) and Kelly Gittins (front) are proud their late mother contributed to the purchase of home care equipment for the Coffs Harbour Regional Cancer Service. They are pictured with regional cancer service’s Margaret Pearce and Palliative Care’s Bev Parkes. Rob Wright

Palliative care receives bequest

DALLAS and Kelly Gittins are proud of their late mum.

Sue Gittins bequeathed a substantial amount of money to the Coffs Harbour Regional Cancer Service and it has been invested in new equipment.

“I am so proud of mum to have provided this for patients,” Dallas said yesterday.

“She was a strong local indigenous woman from the Gumbaynggirr nation. She raised six children of whom I am the youngest. Our house was always over-crowded with extra family members which sometimes included my seven half brothers and sisters from my father’s first marriage.

“The house being so full never bothered Mum ... ‘The more the merrier’ she’d say and I find myself saying the same thing now.”

Mrs Gittins was a respected elder in the community, seen as woman of strength and self determination.

She died last year after an ongoing battle with cancer. It was after she underwent various treatments in hospital and later, was cared for at home, that she learned to appreciate how important home care equipment was to patients.

The Regional Service used the money to purchase two new portable electric beds, two oxygen concentrators and oxygen regulators that can be placed in a palliative patient’s home.

The beds allow carers to raise and lower the bed for easier access to bed-ridden patients; the oxygen concentrators take air from the room and condense it for the patient to breathe; and the regulators go on top of oxygen tanks to control the flow of oxygen into a face mask.

“It’s such a generous donation,” said Coffs Harbour Regional Cancer Service president Margaret Pearce said.

“All of our money stays in the town so this equipment will help locals.”



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