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Donation lifts spirits

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Donation lifts spirits

A former serviceman says he has been ‘touched by an angel’ at a time in his life when his health really needed a boost.

John Earea has dedicated his entire life to service. At 17, he joined the Army, serving for three years before entering the police force in 1968, where he served his community for a further 35 years.

Upon reaching retirement, Mr Earea and his wife Julie built their dream two-storey home in Aroona.

However, Mr Earea’s health has declined over the past 18 months and he needs renal dialysis three times a week.

The impact of this treatment impairs his mobility, making it difficult to move around his home, and especially up the stairs.

“I’d spend four-and-a-half hours on the dialysis machine in hospital, and then when I came home, I was taking forever to try and get up the stairs – half-an-hour at least,” the Caloundra RSL Sub-Branch member says.

Kawana Waters RSL Sub-Branch wellbeing advocate Gary Penney recently visited Mr Earea’s home to help with a
few things and they started talking about the stairs.

As luck would have it, that same day Mr Penney received a serendipitous phone call.

“On my way home, I got a phone call from our sub-branch secretary, asking if I knew anyone who needed a stairlift,” Mr Penney says.

“I thought he was pranking me.”

As it happened, a generous member of the public had decided to donate her husband’s stairlift – worth more than $5000 – to a veteran in need through the RSL Sub-Branch.

“John reacted with absolute disbelief and the donor was amazed that the stairlift went to somebody who really needed it,” Mr Penney says.

Following the stairlift’s installation, Mr Earea’s climb reduced from 30 minutes to 30 seconds.

“My life at home has improved significantly,” he says.

“I’m sure I was touched by an angel.

“Between Gary and the lady who donated the chair, everyone involved has changed my life.”

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