Shepparton patient marks 20 years of dialysis treatment

By Tara Whitsed

For staff at Goulburn Valley Health’s Dialysis Unit, patient Jean Wellman has become like family to them.

The Shepparton woman this week marked 20 years since she began receiving dialysis treatment at the health facility.

Ms Wellman explained she was diagnosed after receiving a triple bypass when her doctor discovered one of her kidneys was not functioning.

“I’d been operating on one kidney my whole life,” she said.

“I didn’t have any problems but I gradually started to feel yucky.”

After her doctor’s discovery, Ms Wellman said she had a biopsy of her kidneys which led to a concrete diagnosis and began her dialysis journey.

Ms Wellman said all of her treatment had been received at GV Health except for a few occasions when holidaying where she had dialysis elsewhere.

Staff said she had become like an extended family member to them with Ms Wellman spending much of her time at the facility.

Ms Wellman said she received four hours of dialysis every Monday, Wednesday and Thursday.

She said she had seen a lot of changes in the two decades of treatment.

“When I first started there were a lot of older nurses but now there’s lots of young ones,” she said.

She said the new GV Health Dialysis Unit, which began operating in November last year, provided a much more private and comfortable facility for patients.