What was supposed to be a relatively smooth sailing double knee replacement for Peter Hansen at a hospital north of the Sunshine Coast, turned into a nightmare of a week.
Mr Hansen’s wife Tracy, who is accustomed to full-time care from her husband, witnessed the terrifying ordeal when he had an adverse reaction to the anaesthetic.
“It was so scary seeing Peter having these terrible hallucinations,” Tracy said.
After some time, Peter was discharged to go home to the couple’s five-acre property in Gheerulla, north of Kenilworth, but the 53-year-old’s state deteriorated.
“Peter ended up being taken to hospital in the early hours and he was only half our worry. The catastrophic South East Queensland floods were inundating our property and neighbours. Eventually, I was rescued after being without power for 24 hours,” she said.
“While Peter spent the first week recovering at Sunshine Coast University Hospital (SCUH), I had my brother driving me at 4.30am every day to visit Peter and we wouldn’t get home until after 7 at night – it was simply too much.”
When Tracy reversed her scooter into a lift at SCUH, she had a heart-warming moment when she saw a sign about Wishlist’s affordable accommodation close to the hospital.
“By the time I found out about Wishlist, we were seriously broke. While I couldn’t access my home due to floods, I was footing the bill for short term accommodation in Noosa during the school holidays.”
Wishlist accommodated Tracy in Wishlist House for two weeks – a ‘home away from home’ nearby SCUH.
“I was overwhelmed by how caring and compassionate the volunteers were to me. I don’t know how we would have coped. Wishlist House was a lovely family environment in the midst of a nightmare.”
After several weeks, Peter was discharged from hospital and is now tending to his paddocks and metal as a blacksmith by trade.
“Whilst the cause of Pete’s ‘episode’ is still unknown, I however am not back to my old self. I’ve become a new person. I’m far more switched on to the human landscape around me and I’m far more open to strangers.”
“That’s the last and lasting gift Pete’s time at SCUH and my time at Wishlist House has given to me. To everyone involved, all I really can say is THANK YOU.”