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One Less Worry for parents

The Nicholas Trust

Monday, 24 September, 2018.

Kallan, known to his family as Kal, was a delightful 19 year-old man who loved nothing more than family time with his parents, sister, and nanas. 

At 10 Kal was diagnosed with a type of bone cancer called osteosarcoma, and by age 15 he’d had his first relapse. His diagnosis meant he was in-and-out of hospital during his teenage years for treatment. 

As Kal’s health deteriorated, his biggest wish was to stay at home and enjoy time with his family, away from the hospital environment. 

“His whole demeanour would change in hospital, but he could be himself at home. And it was vitally important for us as a family too,” Mum, Karina said.

Enter the One Less Worry equipment loan pool. The One Less Worry equipment loan pool has been designed for youth with a life-limiting illness. It was launched in late 2017 and is a partnership between The Nicholas Trust, the Paediatric Palliative Care Service at John Hunter Children’s Hospital, and Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation.

Kallan made use of the One Less Worry Equipment Pool.
Kallan made use of the One Less Worry equipment pool.

Kal’s biggest wish was to stay at home. Full stop, without this equipment we couldn’t have made it happen.
Karina, Kallan’s mother.

Equipment includes options for patient comfort and positioning, such as hospital beds and special mattresses, cushioned lounge chairs, wheelchairs, showering equipment, and medical supports for breathing. 

Because of the equipment borrowed from One Less Worry, Kal’s family was able to provide him with extraordinary care at home and take him out to enjoy life as much as possible as his condition deteriorated. 

“It meant a lot to him to get out and about with the help of his wheelchair, cushion, and portable oxygen,” Karina said. 

“He was able to visit the new Rooftop at Westfield where he enjoyed dinner with friends and family. He went to the movies with his dad, and he went out to a football game.” 

Because Kallan and his family had access to One Less Worry he was able to minimise the time he spent in hospital and enjoy normal activities with his family and friends before he passed away in late 2017. 

Kal’s biggest wish was to stay at home. Full stop, without this equipment we couldn’t have made it happen. Karina, Kallan’s mother. “

John Hunter Children’s Hospital Occupational Therapist, Amanda Orr, said the One Less Worry equipment pool allows families to spend quality time together outside the hospital environment. 

“The One Less Worry equipment pool is enabling children and their families to access the community together, go to the movies, or on a final camping trip. It is allowing the creation of memories that are forever treasured,” Amanda said. 

For Kallan’s family, having equipment available in the family home supported their choices, enabled care and comfort for him in a familiar environment, and was one less burden. 

“To have him at home meant so much. I don’t think people understand how important that is,” Karina said.