Kevin Edwards' petition calls for Sheppey dialysis unit
Kevin Edwards with his petition to get a
dialysis unit at Sheppey's hospital
A dad diagnosed with kidney disease has launched a campaign
to get a dialysis unit at Sheppey Community Hospital.
Kevin Edwards, of Harps Avenue, Minster, only found out
something was wrong when he had a routine check.
He was sent to hospital the day after and he was diagnosed with
chronic kidney disease.
The 49-year-old has to travel to Maidstone Hospital three times
a week to have dialysis, with a view to having a transplant when a
match can be found.
As his wife Alison works, she is unable to drive him so the
trips are organised and paid for by the NHS, at cost to the
taxpayer, he said.
Mr Edwards, who is a referee for the Sheppey Sunday League,
said: “I didn’t even know I had it – I had no symptoms or
“I thought it was a joke when they sent me to the hospital – it
was completely and utterly life changing and a big shock.
“I still don’t feel poorly – the dialysis just makes you very
tired because they take all your blood out, clean it and put it
Sheppey Community Hospital
- where patients are calling for a dialysis unit
“We need a dialysis unit on the Island – there’s enough people
on Sheppey who have to travel to warrant it so it would pay for
Mr Edwards has started a petition and in three hours it received
He has also launched a Facebook group called Minster Dialysis
The former lorry driver has had to give up work and says there
should be more help in place for people who have never had to claim
benefits before as he has no idea what he’s entitled to or how to
“Everyone I spoke to agreed and I couldn’t get away from
doorsteps with people wanting to tell me a story.”
He said there were people who have lost relatives who they
believe would be alive if there was a unit on the Island. It’s
terrible and absolutely disgusting.“
I would urge everyone of the age of 45 upwards to get their
blood pressure checked every year – I never thought it would happen
Mr Edwards will also be at the clock tower in Sheerness on
Saturday from 9.30am to collect signatures.
Once Mr Edwards has finishing collecting signatures he will
present the petition to MP Gordon Henderson, who is in support of
He says he has been concerned for some time about the lack of
dialysis treatment in Sheppey and Sittingbourne.
Mr Henderson had been helping a woman from Bay View who had to
visit Canterbury every day for treatment.
He said: “Her journey took several hours each way because the
ambulance was routed to pick up other patients and by the time she
got home she was so ill she was unable to go for the following
“We managed to resolve that issue, but it did raise a general
problem about the location of dialysis equipment.
“I have been pressing the health authorities ever since to set
up a satellite unit on Sheppey or provide equipment for use in the
“Such equipment is available, and is suitable for some patients,
but we need more of it.
“I have to say the renal services have been quite encouraging in
acknowledging the need, however, Kevin’s campaign will help to
convince them to provide services locally as quickly as possible,
which is why I am more than pleased to support him.”
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