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From Papua New Guinea to Frankston Hospital Infusion Centre

Gary with Infusion Centre Nurses

Patient Gary Jean with Infusion Centre nurses Amanda and Siobhan.

Every six weeks, fly-in-fly-out worker Gary Jean travels from Papua New Guinea (PNG) to the Infusion Centre at Frankston Hospital.

The accountant makes the eight hour journey to receive an infusion he can’t get in PNG, which takes away the numbness in his feet, so he can walk without any problems. 

“CIDP is a condition that causes numbness in your feet and legs,” explains Gary.

“Having the infusion brings back the feeling in your feet. Then over time 5-6 weeks, the numbness starts to come back, so then you have to go have the treatment again.”

Gary knew he needed to seek treatment one day when he was playing golf.

“I play a lot of golf in PNG and one day and I was walking across a ditch and I tripped and fell,” he says.

“I tripped because my feet went up.”

Before having the infusion, Gary says he struggled to get around 18 holes of the Golf Course.

“Now I can get around the entire course so it has improved my quality of life,” explains Gary.

Gary will likely need to continue having the infusion every six weeks for the rest of his life. It takes four hours for the drugs to be administered.

“I’m not going to let this condition change my life or routine, I just have to manage it and stick to the protocol.”

The father-of-four is very happy with the care he has been receiving at Peninsula Health, which is enabling him to continue working overseas and playing golf.

“This Infusion Centre is quite flexible and adaptable with fitting in with my other appointments and I think that’s really good,” says Gary.

“Normally in the six week cycle I do the treatment over two days – they’re doing two days treatment in one day and that is excellent, it minimises my time out of PNG.”

 “I’ve been really impressed with the level of care and the level of patient service.”