I have been a resident of Invermere for 24 years. Due to a genetic illness, Polycystic Kidney Disease, my kidneys failed and I started dialysis in September 2011. When I started, there were also two other patients receiving this essential service in this long-established unit. When the nurse went off on medical leave in June 2012, Interior Health didn’t have proper resources to address the service gap and patients were directed to travel to Cranbrook for treatments (three times per week at four hours per treatment run plus travel time).
Note that this isn’t like cancer treatment — there is no cure short of a transplant. Then after seven months and currently down to just one patient — me — Interior Health announces they are permanently closing the Invermere Dialysis Unit. I would like to share my story and concerns for other Invermere area citizens.