Any kidney dialysis patient will tell you that the treatment can be very time consuming.
"It's like an eight, nine hour day, sometimes longer," says kidney dialysis patient, Brenda Stace.
"It certainly is a time commitment on top of work it makes a second job to come here and do that," says kidney dialysis patient, Frank Beaver.
For Stace of Benzie County, coming to the new dialysis center at Paul Oliver Memorial Hospital in Frankfort is a relief. For the past two and a half years, Stace had to head north to Traverse City for her kidney treatment.
"I would get up at 3 a.m. to catch the bus at a quarter to five and go up and have treatment. I wouldn't get home until 1:30 in the afternoon," says Stace. Patients just like Stace, typically undergo the dialysis for about three and a half hours per treatment, three days a week... and that doesn't include travel time. So, having a more centralized center at Paul Oliver cuts down on the time and creates a more relaxing atmosphere for patients.
Bill Gray, the patient care coordinator for the dialysis program says the treatment is life sustaining.
"Patients that need kidney dialysis are patients who a kidney function has declined to a point where they start to become sick and their body compensate for quite awhile but eventually get a point where they need help. During the dialysis treatment we access their blood by couple different methods," says Gray.
A very lengthy process that's a life sustaining treatment. Yet, with the new center in Frankfort opening just a few months ago through generous community donations, patients can now have a fresh perspective.
"For many years, we've had about 15 to 20 patients who need dialysis and the closest place was Manistee or traverse city. It definitely does affect someone's quality of life and it's a difficult regimen to stay on even for the most disciplined. We opened this facility with the donations of some of the locals to save these people having to spend so much time on the road," says Gray.
Frank Beaver of Manistee has been on dialysis for four years. He used to travel to Traverse City three days a week for treatments, but now he comes to Paul Oliver.
"Boy it's a great feeling. It's nice now to be here. it's like coming home," says Beaver.
"It's been very gratifying for me to be a part of the community and to be a part of offering this service that can make so much difference and improve the quality of life for people for in Benzie County," says Gray.
For more information about the new facility click here.