Our stay at Lions Transplant House

We are Murray and Karen Wakelin from Christchurch and would like to share with you how we found staying in Transplant House. We went to Auckland 19th April 2000 and were staying in Domain Lodge, which is excellent accommodation. The Transplant House is on one of Domain Lodge’s boundaries and we had thought what a great set up it would be when it started running. 

We were invited to the Blessing of the House on the 12th May 2000 along with the other folks from out of town in Auckland waiting or post transplant that would have the chance to stay at the House as well. To see in side the flats was wonderful.  A lot of thought had been put into the colors and furnishing of them. We hoped that we could be one of the families to be able use the House. Murray wasn’t able to attend the Blessing as he was in DCCM after receiving his new liver. Dawn Kelly the liver transplant coordinator gave me the good news that I was able to move in the following week. All 3 flats were full so it proved that there was a very real need for the House. 

When Murray came out of Hospital it was so great to have all the comforts of home at your fingertips and the other folks in the same situation to talk with if you needed. Transplant House became a lifesaver for me as Murray ran into a few problems and spent more time in hospital than out. It was such a safe and warm feeling environment to come back to each night. Also on the better days for Murray with the location of the house so close to the hospital he was allowed to come out to the house between Doctors rounds or medication treatments so this was good for his moral and made life a little simpler for us both. 

We ended up staying 6 months in the house, as Murray needed a second transplant. Staying longer than most the other 2 flats had several changes so meeting and making new friends while staying at Transplant House has been great. We keep in touch with several of them. Our young adult family was able to visit at separate times because all the flats have 2 bedrooms. This was just great for any family with younger children that could all come together for their stay. Craig was working on the farm for Murray and Jenny was in her second year of University as well as running the home for us. It was a rough 6 months for them and to be able to come and stay in the comfortable home type setting was just fantastic for us all. We also had looked into getting our car to Auckland as we thought it would give us a little independence. We were able to put it on Pacifica Shipping for a little over $500 one way. It came into Onehunga 4 days later so the on site car parking was a great bonus.

Murray and I cannot thank enough all those involved with the fund raising, purchasing and the present Trustees for running this fantastic place to stay and call home for all the out of town Liver transplant patients and families whether you are still on the waiting list or in the post transplant stage. To know that this house is there for you is one less stress in this challenging time of your life. Until you are in need of a facility like this we don’t know how lucky we are that there is a Transplant House available.

April 2001