Cork University Hospital (CUH) Charity has launched an appeal to raise the remaining €40,000 needed to complete an €80,000 overhaul of the existing Hydrotherapy Pool in the Physiotherapy Department at Cork University Hospital.
The pool provides 4,000 Hydrotherapy treatment sessions to 600 patients a year, including stroke survivors, physically impaired children, those with rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis, and patients suffering from musculoskeletal, orthopaedic and neurological conditions. Most of CUH’s Hydrotherapy patients are referred from fracture clinics, many being athletes with injuries sustained playing sports such as hurling, football, rugby, basketball and hill climbing.
The Hydrotherapy pool at CUH is the only one in Munster that is available to HSE patients, however because of some problems with the filtration and heating systems the hospital has been without a fully-functioning Hydrotherapy pool since 2011 .
Physiotherapy Manager Frances Walsh, speaking at the launch of the appeal, called for the public’s support and donations. “It is only a matter of time before the existing pool becomes completely unusable. If we don’t have a Hydrotherapy pool, we won’t be able to provide hundreds of patients with vital treatment. We need your support so that our department and CUH in general, can best serve our patients in Munster.”
Hydrotherapy is a specialised Physiotherapy treatment consisting of exercises carried out in water that is warmer than an average swimming pool. The pool offers patients relaxation, freedom from pain and an escape from the ailments that prohibit them from moving freely the rest of the time. With the use of a Hydrotherapy pool, patients are able to work their weak injured muscles in ways they wouldn’t be able to on land, thus speeding up the recovery process.
Sheila Tracy, who was diagnosed with a rare neurological condition after becoming paralysed from the chest down, is a former Hydrotherapy patient and avid supporter of the appeal. “I began using the Hydrotherapy pool when I was in immense pain, still without any movement in my left leg and with only very little movement in my right. As soon as I entered the pool I was able to stand— it was amazing! The pool not only provided me with incredible relief, it allowed me to safely complete exercises that were essential to my recovery. Other patients deserve to experience the numerous benefits of Hydrotherapy, and that is why this appeal is so important.”