In this short video you can see patient Rob and his physiotherapist (on the Sunshine Coast) having a consultation with surgeon Natasha van Zyl (at Austin Health) - 2,000km apart! They are using communication equipment purchased as a result of generosity from you, our donors.
Rob Croll, a young husband and father, became a quadriplegic in 2016 after a tragic surfing accident in Queensland.
He generously shared his story to help us highlight the importance of some new proposed teleconferencing equipment, and the difference it would make for people with spinal injuries in remote and regional areas requiring assessment for possible nerve and tendon transfer surgery.
Because of the limitations of our telehealth equipment in 2016, Rob needed to travel to Melbourne for a full assessment, requiring much logistical planning and money. Rob had his life-changing surgery soon after and is pleased to report that it has helped him regain some movement in his hands.
Recently, Rob, still living in Queensland, needed to have a consultation with Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon Natasha van Zyl and Occupational Therapist Cathy Cooper – both at the Austin Hospital in Melbourne - to assess his suitability for further surgery. Fortunately, this time Rob did not need to travel to Melbourne.
Due to the generosity of you, our donors, we now have an amazing 42-inch LCD monitor, camera and audio Telehealth system, allowing Rob and his Physiotherapist to have a ‘virtual’ meeting with Natasha and Cathy and to demonstrate various hand movements. For Rob, not having to travel to Melbourne saves him time, complicated logistics, worry and lots of money.
For Natasha, the Telehealth system not only helps patients like Rob, but also has many other benefits.
“Obviously every time a person with quadriplegia has to travel, it is a huge effort for them and their family,” she says. “The Telehealth system works as a fantastic way of screening many patients for surgery without them having to undertake the stress of travel.”
“It also allows us to collaborate regularly with other medical staff from around the world and at other hospitals, including research projects and even things like outpatient clinics, saving our whole team travelling around to various regional locations.”