Welland’s Charity Round-up for 2018
Improving the lives of ostomates around the world by bringing to market unique and innovative stoma care solutions is the mission of Welland Medical. The desire and commitment to support patients does not stop there, as we are passionate about helping those in need through our ongoing work with different charities.
As a manufacturer of products that are available worldwide, we support charities that benefit those around the globe. During 2018, we were delighted to be able to donate over £4500 to UK based charities and work with Hand In Hand For Aid and Development (HIHFAD) and Jacob’s Well Appeal.
Our ongoing commitment to St Catherine’s Hospice in Crawley saw staff raising a grand total of £4,128 for the local charity who cares for those with progressive life-shortening conditions. Our partnership with this charity saw staff coming together for a host of fundraising activities including raffles and orange bag (clothes) donations and the fundraising efforts did not stop there, with a further £500 raised for SANDS UK, a stillbirth and neonatal death charity.
It is not just monetary donations that make a difference to those in need, in 2018 a large number of Welland Medical ostomy products were donated to HIHFAD and Jacob’s Well Appeal, 2 charities responsible for distributing much needed medical supplies in countries such as Syria and Moldova, where they are too expensive or unattainable for those who need them.
A spokesperson from Jacob’s Well Appeal, who primarily support people in West Africa and Moldova by distributing items including medical supplies, gift boxes for children and mobility and dental equipment, commented: “In areas of Eastern Europe they have to pay for stoma bags, which are expensive, so many ostomates have no supplies. It’s quite a desperate situation; they are using plastic bags and crisp packets, making them vulnerable to infections, so we are very thankful for the supplies from Welland Medical”.
Thanks to Jacob’s Well Appeal and the organisations they collaborate with around the world, much needed medical supplies were also made available to patients in the Philippines, Bulgaria, the Gambia and Albania during 2018.
With the main aim of alleviating the suffering of those affected by the war in Syria, HIHFAD, a UK registered charity, has been at the forefront of providing humanitarian aid since the beginning of the conflict in 2011. As part of their work HIHFAD provide medical supplies, including stoma care products, to those in need with the help of their field medical team on the ground in Syria and Turkey.
Thanks to HIHFAD, we have been able to follow the journey of some of our stoma care products to discover how they have benefited ostomates in Syria and we are able to share these stories, which have been provided by HIHFAD, with you here:
Dignity in the midst of war
The horrors of war are etched into the lines of Haji Abdulkarim Mohammad Ali’s face, a 67-year-old philosophy teacher and school principal from the town of Dara Azza, Aleppo. When war came, he lost his job and one of his daughters and her child returned to live with him when her husband was killed in fighting as they tried to flee Aleppo.
A diabetic for 22 years with stress related eye problems, Abdulkarim’s already poor health deteriorated in 2017 as he began to experience digestive issues. Medical tests revealed a malignant tumour in his rectum. Abdulkarim was fortunate to have surgery and miraculously, despite a 5% success rate for the operation, the tumour was successfully removed and Abdulkarim has been declared cancer free.
“It was a weight off my shoulders”, he said. However, his problems were not over, as he has to use colostomy bags on a daily basis. His poor health and lack of resources for the family meant he was not able to source or buy the bags he needed.
Fortunately, the HIHFAD team, with generous support from Welland Medical, were able to perform a check up on Abdulkarim’s health and provide the colostomy bags he needs daily.
Abdulkarim expressed his happiness at the support he has received from the team and for the much-needed medical supplies.
A Life Shattered in a Second
“I am blessed with three children. I worked and I never asked for help from anyone”. Life was good for Abdul Razzaq, a 34 year old man from the Tishreen neighbourhood in Damascus, where he was working in a small supermarket to support his family.
That changed in an instant in 2012 when a stray bullet from fighting that had come to his neighbourhood hit him in the lower spine. He was rushed unconscious to the nearest medical centre where he woke up and realised, he had lost sensation in both legs.
“My body was aching all over, except my legs. I asked those around me what had happened to my legs, but there was no answer. I tried to move them but in vain. I then realised that I had been paralysed”. In addition to his paraplegia, Abdul Razzaq also had an intestinal perforation.
After many hospital visits the intestinal perforation was fixed by surgery that resulted in a colostomy and a catheter. As a result, he now needs constant colostomy bags, urinary catheters and urine drainage bags. In 2013 his poor health forced him to leave his home and move with his family to Northern Syria to continue medical treatment.
Despite having medical treatment, moving away from his extended family and support network meant that he didn’t have a carer to meet his daily needs and he developed pressure sores on his back and feet and he was unable to afford his essential medical supplies such as antiseptic liquid for wound dressing, urinary catheters and colostomy bags.
A team from HIHFAD came to check on Abdul Razzaq’s condition. Thanks to support from Welland Medical the team were able to provide the colostomy bags that he needs on a daily basis.
Abdul Razzaq tells us that he was so relieved to receive these medical consumables. “Inshallah, now I can go out to find a job and work, so I will not be a burden”, he says smiling “maybe I will get the money to buy an electric wheelchair so I can go out and feel the sun on my face”.
Planning for how we can continue to support our chosen charities in 2019 is already underway and we look forward to sharing updates with you on this during the year.