three people with a piece of medical equipment

Rob and Margaret Chapman helped fund the $50,000 argon plasma coagulation device, a gift to Coffs Harbour hospital which Gastrointestinal Surgeon Dr Kamala Das is very grateful for.

Surgeon praises Coffs couple’s generosity

Jan 27, 2021
This article was published 3 years ago.

A Coffs Harbour couple has helped fund a vital piece of surgical equipment for Coffs Harbour Health Campus that will reduce hospital transfers for gastrointestinal patients and create new treatment options for some cancer patients.

Rob and Margaret Chapman are no strangers to the hospital, having supported it in the past with significant donations, but the local philanthropists’ latest gift is a ‘gamechanger’, said Gastrointestinal Surgeon Dr Kamala Das.

The argon plasma coagulation device they have helped fund will be used to treat multiple conditions affecting the gastrointestinal tract, as well as some cancers, such as liver and oesophagus cancer.

“We wouldn’t have this important device without Rob and Margaret. We are so very grateful because it is a gamechanger for many of our patients here on the Coffs Coast,” Dr Das said.

“Essentially, it is an advanced way to control bleeding by significantly reducing the risk of bowel or stomach perforation, unlike standard equipment.

“It will create new treatment options for some cancer patients.  Some life-threatening bleeding can only be controlled with this equipment, which means we can confidently go about certain procedures now at our hospital instead of referring some patients to Newcastle or elsewhere. 

“We are so very grateful because it is a gamechanger for many of our patients here on the Coffs Coast.”

Dr Das said the equipment was worth every cent of its $50,000 price tag. The Chapmans kindly contributed $35,722, and the hospital funded the balance from public donations held in trust.

Prostate cancer patients and patients with vascular lesions in the stomach or colon will benefit most from the new equipment, but there is scope to expand its use into other medical areas.

The donation is the result of the Chapmans’ strong commitment to their local hospital.

“Making a difference is something we can all aspire to, in one way or another.” Mr Chapman said.

“We like to support local needs and what better way of doing that than supporting our local hospital. So many people will benefit from having this new equipment right here in Coffs Harbour.”

Dr Das said the equipment will enable the surgical team at Coffs Harbour Health Campus to expand its service, which will reduce the inconvenience for patients who, until now, would have had their procedure in Sydney, Newcastle or at a private facility.

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