A remarkable woman is changing lives on the Fraser Coast
A REMARKABLE woman's tireless work has changed the lives of hundreds of people on the Fraser Coast.
Jaimie de Salis OAM was in disbelief when her six-year battle to secure a Parkinson's specialist nurse was finally achieved this month.
Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service accepted Jaimie's third submission after rejecting one in 2013 and another in 2015.
She said the Fraser Coast's proximity to Parkinson's specialists at Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast may have been the reason for the rejections.
"However, having said that, back in 2015 the hospital board could see we really did need a Parkinson's nurse here," Jaimie said.
"We held a community meeting which three of the board members attended and they could see the need was great, but unfortunately, they couldn't find any discretionary funds to set up the nurse at that time."
She said the Parkinson's nurse navigator will collaborate with allied health professionals after training under Brisbane neurologist Dr Alexander Lehn.
"I have recommended clinics, and I think that is the way they are going to do it, with a clinic here in Hervey Bay and Maryborough," Jaimie said.
"What we're hoping is that people with Parkinson's will avail themselves of this wonderful service and they will find out just how good it is once they become involved in it."
Jaimie said her biggest advocate and supporter throughout the process was Hervey Bay MP Ted Sorensen.
"He arranged for me and the other coordinator of our group at the time, Arnold Horne, to attend a community cabinet meeting in 2013.
"We met with the Health Minister Lawrence Springborg, and he gave us a very good hearing I must admit, but again, no money was forthcoming.
"And Ted kept pushing both sides of parliament... and I have heard him more than a couple of times on radio when he's being interviewed and looking at what the Fraser Coast needs, and he would always mention a Parkinson's nurse."
Mr Sorensen said there was no doubt Jaimie and her supporters should be credited with this win.
"Since May 2011 they have rallied for the provision of a designated Parkinson's support nurse in the Wide Bay Health Service region," Mr Sorensen said.
"The work undertaken by the Hervey Bay Support Group and Parkinson's Queensland has played an important role in raising the level of awareness about Parkinson's across the Fraser Coast Region.
"They worked tirelessly in highlighting the gaps in service delivery, often regrettably incurred by the sufferers of the disease.
"I organised meetings with Jaimie and the co-coordinator of Parkinson's in Queensland, with ministers and interested parties to discuss the desperate need in our community for such a nurse.
"Jaimie also received an Order of Australia Medal for her continued work and support for people with Parkinson's."