Kidney dialysis patients set off on special holiday thanks to donations from generous EDP readers
A group of kidney dialysis patients are enjoying a holiday that gives them 'a little bit of heaven' – thanks to generous EDP readers who helped raise £6,000 to ensure their annual trip could go ahead.
The United Norwich Kidney Patients Association takes people who can need dialysis three times a week on a 10-day trip to a Dutch venue that has dialysis facilities close to the beach.
It is the only holiday some are able to take, because of their need for frequent treatment and the often crippling costs of travel insurance, which can cost more than the holiday itself.
However, the charity feared it would have to cancel the trip for the first time in 21 years because of a £2,000 shortfall, and appealed to EDP readers to help ensure the patients would not be disappointed.
Chairman Sandy Lines said more than £6,000 had flooded in since we published their story, including £1,000 which arrived on the day they departed from the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH) last Thursday.
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She said: 'For this year to happen, it's all due to the generosity of public. I'm so amazed that they have been so generous.
'The patients were as amazed as I was and very appreciative. They knew it would not go ahead without it, and I think they are just overwhelmed. It really is lovely.'
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About 36 patients and carers, aged from their 50s to their 80s, are taking part in the trip.
Mrs Lines said they are usually 'pretty tired' after arriving, but those who were up to it were due to visit a local supermarket to stock up on provisions.
Their itinerary also includes a visit the nearest town, Goes, on alternative morning or afternoon sessions, depending on when their dialysis is, as well as going on a day trip to Bruges and visiting a cheese barn.
However, the charity is on standby to take anyone back to the UK within 24 hours if a suitable donor kidney becomes available.
The group is due to return to the NNUH on Monday with many due to go straight back onto dialysis.
Mrs Lines said the additional money above the original £2,000 target would help ensure the trip can take place again next year.