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Hope for the suffering

Offering hope: St Vincent’s Private Hospital Brisbane Pain Management Service programs co-ordinator Mary Thomas and Adrienne Leahy are among hospital staff giving hope to patients with chronic pain.

Offering hope: St Vincent’s Private Hospital Brisbane Pain Management Service programs co-ordinator Mary Thomas and Adrienne Leahy are among hospital staff giving hope to patients with chronic pain.

MINISTERING Holy Communion to her dying relative led Camp Hill parishioner Mary Thomas to offer hope to people with chronic pain at Brisbane’s St Vincent’s Private Hospital.

The St Vincent’s Brisbane Pain Management Service programs co-ordinator first noticed the hospital’s dedicated care for patients after ministering to her cousin.

“My cousin was dying of breast cancer here and I was an extraordinary minister of Communion, and I was able to give her the Communion,” Mrs Thomas said.

“She was so well cared for here.

“All the team dedicate so much of their time to the patients in one-on-one care.”

The devoted staff inspired Mrs Thomas to take up a job in the hospital’s pain management centre, which celebrates its second anniversary this year.

The anniversary also coincided with National Pain Week.

Since opening in 2013, the centre has helped more than 1800 people with the country’s most comprehensive pain management services and specialty programs.

Services include detailed assessments, modern treatments and access to pain management programs that have been running since 2009.

It is also the only centre that offers adolescent pain management programs.

Mrs Thomas said her job was to give people hope for a future with less pain.

“I just wanted to help people,” she said.

“I really like seeing them on the last day, when they’ve bonded with the group and feel like they’re not the only one with an issue.

“They have a support base as well.”

St Vincent’s Private Hospital Brisbane general manager Cheryl Royle said the centre formed part of the hospital’s vision to “change the lives of people who live with chronic pain so they can lead full and satisfying lives”.

“Patients experience the benefits of modern-day methods and technologies such as nerve blocks, nerve stimulators and a range of advanced medical options now available to reduce or eliminate pain,” Mrs Royle said.

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