Graphic: Beachwheels RFDS
Back in May, RFDS Victoria officially launched its brand new service, Flying Doctor Memory Lane. The service is designed to support people in palliative or end-of-life care to visit a place of personal significance alongside friends and family, whether that’s their home, the beach or anywhere else that holds special memories for them.
This free service is 100% donor funded, and is staffed by medically trained members of our Mobile Patient Care (MPC) teams, all of whom volunteer their time on these journeys. Memory Lane also utilises uniquely designed transport vehicles, which were built with the help of our generous services partners, including Amtek, Interleasing, Stryker, Label Concepts and ARB.
While the Memory Lane team endeavours to make every requested journey happen, some destinations proved difficult for us to get to with the use of stretcher or wheelchairs, such as down onto the sand of a person’s favourite beach. Thankfully, the team at Beachwheels Australia recognised this barrier, and generously donated two of their all-terrain wheelchairs to Memory Lane.
“I just thought it was such a wonderful initiative,” says Drew Valentine, Director for Beachwheels Australia. “We do a lot of supplying for NDIS, with terminally ill patients and disabled patients, so [Memory Lane] fits the bill with the values that we have.
“We just thought we'd like to support the Flying Doctor, knowing what a great job you do normally, and this is another great initiative.”
Beachwheels Australia donated a blue Sandcruiser wheelchair, which is designed for adults, and a yellow Sandpiper wheelchair, which is 20% smaller and tailored for smaller adults and children. Each chair is equipped with polyurethane wheels made by WheelEEZ, which are capable of crossing almost any terrain, such as sand, rock or coral, and won't get bogged. The wheels also have shock absorbing qualities, ensuring a smooth ride.
RFDS Victoria is incredibly grateful to Beachwheels Australia for their generosity, and we look forward to many more transports and special moments made possible by this wonderful donation.