October 2013

We are approaching that time of year again – the craziness of the festive season – and it’s hard to believe 2013 is already drawing to a close. It has been a good year for ARCH; our systems are running smoothly, and New Zealanders continue to benefit from the surgical services afforded by our dedicated team.

We have had support from several quarters this year, but in particular I’d like to acknowledge Southern Cross Health Trust. Southern Cross has come on board, generously covering the hospital and sundry costs of all the ARCH patients operated on at Southern Cross Hospitals. A tremendous initiative indeed, and hopefully the start of a long-term relationship with ARCH.

Janet, our wonderful admin lady, has worked with us to create a patient- questionnaire aimed at evaluating and refining the services we provide, and we have been buoyed by the level of satisfaction and gratitude expressed in those received to date. I’d like to share with you the words of some of our recent patients. They highlight the very real need that still in exists in Auckland, and bear testament to the value of ARCH in the community.

Gynaecomastia.

‘I am a young mother of three children who has suffered since puberty with excessively large breasts and…painful chest pains, shooting pains in my neck and face, and crippling migraines. This resulted in me constantly being on pain relief, and not being able to play and enjoy my children… At my lowest point and desperate time of need, (ARCH) came to my rescue. After having a bilateral breast reduction, I can now move without pain, have had no chest pain for months, and my asthma has improved… Thankyou ARCH for changing my life and giving my children a mother they can have fun with. I am also looking forward to joining the work force once my children have grown, as I know will be able to do simple things without the pain I experienced in the past. Thank you.’

Cataracts.

‘My husband has Alzheimer’s and lost his driving licence, which left me as the driver in the family. (Where we live) a car is essential for getting to shops, trains, bus etc. My eyesight over several years was steadily deteriorating with cataracts, and my doctor said I would not pass the eyesight test at my next drivers test. The public hospital said there were other patients in more need of eye operations and could not say when I would receive surgery. We could not afford to go privately…After the operation (through ARCH) I couldn’t believe how bright everything was and how clear the road signs were…The staff at the clinic were caring and sympathetic and my experience could not have been better… I can’t thank ARCH enough.’

Hip.

‘Just thank you. I would never have had an operation on my hip had ARCH…not stepped in.’

Vaginal prolapse and bladder weakness.

‘…this got steadily worse and became a real inconvenience having to consider my proximity to W.C’s all the time. Long journey’s away from main roads with toilet stops became impossible, (and it was) challenging when hanging around cold netball/baseball/soccer fields…Unknown destinations were always a worry…I am so grateful for this incredible change in my life. I feel liberated. It’s like ‘my secret’. I have told other women when they have mentioned their leakage problems. I know all too well how limiting and embarrassing it can be. I just want to say a great big thank you so much. I will be forever grateful’

Umbilical Hernia.

‘I couldn’t do any activities that involved lifting or stretching or digging e.g. gardening and DIY. The surgery had a profound impact on my life… You feel as if a whole weight has been lifted you.’

Lump.

‘I had a large angiolipoma on my chest… It was alternately sore or tingly, then numb. I was unable to lift my grandchildren without pain… It was starting to increase in size and I was constantly aware of it… After removal (through ARCH)… it was great. No pain, little scarring. Basically back to normal. I can’t thank ARCH enough as I could never have paid for this and with other health issues I was struggling…’

‘The worry ARCH has taken away from me has given me back my life and made me a better person in my advancing years.’

‘Thank you ARCH – you have changed my world.’

On that moving note,

Best wishes,
Fiona Sussman
Director, ARCH