Hickey patient at new dialysis unit

Clayton Hunt
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Utmost confidence in staff and service

They say a person’s life can change on a dime.

Rick Hickey undergoing dialysis treatment at the Connaigre Peninsula Health Care Center on Wednesday, June 17. Hickey is seen here with (from left) Jackie Foote, Nurse Practitioner and the four staff members at the CPHCC who completed their dialysis treatment training at Grand Falls-Windsor - April Blackmore, Angie Bungay, June Snook and Angie Cox.

They say a person’s life can change on a dime.

Rick Hickey, a 47-year-old resident of Harbour Breton, is a good example of this rapid change in life.

One night in 2001 Hickey was working on the fish plant in the community like he had done hundreds of times before. He didn’t realize it, but his life was in for an abrupt change.

 He did not feel so well, but put it off to a touch of the flu and completed his night’s work.

However, the next day he still wasn’t feeling good and decided to see a doctor. After some blood work it was determined that he was experiencing kidney trouble. He was rushed to Grand Falls-Windsor where he found himself taking a dialysis treatment to help his condition.

“That’s how quickly my life changed”, Hickey told the Advertiser. “One night I went to work and the next I was on dialysis.”

In 2002 Hickey received a kidney transplant from his sister, Augustine. The transplant worked well for 11 years and things seemed to be going good.

However, fate had other plans in store for Hickey.

  In 2013 his doctor informed him after a routine checkup that he would need dialysis treatment again, as the kidney was not functioning enough to keep him healthy.

Hickey said, “In May of this year I wasn’t feeling well. On May 12 I had a dialysis line placed in my body for the treatments I started on May 14 at Grand Falls-Windsor (GFW)

“They told me originally there was no room for me at Grand Falls-Windsor or Burin for treatment, and I would have to take dialysis in St. John’s.

“However, they managed to get me in GFW, as they wanted me to start my treatments at the new dialysis unit in Harbour Breton.

“After travelling back and forth to GFW three days a week for dialysis I started my treatments here in Harbour Breton on June 4.”

Hickey said he feels very comfortable taking his treatments in the new dialysis unit and he has the utmost confidence in the nurses who trained in GFW to treat patients.

“This is a satellite system at the Connaigre Peninsula Health Care Clinic, and patients have to be established at another unit and transferred out here,” Hickey said.

“The nurses here are very professional, and I have the utmost confidence in their work. They know what this program is all about, and I feel just as comfortable taking my treatments here as I did in GFW.”

In addition to the great care he is receiving in Harbour Breton, Hickey said the new unit has several great advantages for him.

“ I don’t have the cost and inconvenience of travelling to GFW three times a week. Some of my treatments in GFW started at 8 am, which meant I had to leave Harbour Breton at 5 am.

“I would not get home at least until 5 pm, and I slept all through the night then.

“With this service here, I am finished my treatment at 12 noon and, although I’m still tired, I feel much better on my off-days. As a result I am getting to spend more quality time with my family.

“This unit is like a Godsend to me, as it’s a very convenient service at a whole lot less financial burden. As a matter of fact, we probably would have relocated to St. John’s if this new unit were not in operation.”

Hickey is receiving the dialysis service three times a week at the new unit - Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Each treatment takes approximately four hours. Up to June 17 he had received six treatments at the new center.

Organizations: Connaigre Peninsula Health Care Clinic

Geographic location: Harbour Breton, Burin

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  • melinda (boland) cox
    June 24, 2014 - 07:29

    cousin rick I am so happy for you and you are in my prayers it is so nice to here that you don't have to do all that traveling and that you can be around your family more. I wish you all the best you and your family if I get the chance to come over I will drop by and see you take care and god bless you all

  • Daniel J. Mahoney
    June 23, 2014 - 11:17

    It is great news for the people of our region that this service is now available to them & will give them a comfort level they never had before. Kudos to all who helped make this a reality.