Living a healthy and long life can never be taken for granted. From time to time, a health emergency can throw anyone an unexpected curve ball in an instant that turns the real world completely upside down.
While the Hamilton Community Men's Shed provides a safe haven and support for all members, one member Tom Martin was recently faced with a medical emergency that only specialist staff at a cardiac unit could repair.
His prognosis was dire; get his AAA (abdominal aortic aneurysm) attended to immediately before any further deterioration proved fatal.
With good fortune on his side and a dedicated team of specialists at Waikato Hospital, Tom received the requisite surgery to successfully repair his aneurysm.
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Realising how close to death he had been and on his feet again, Tom was inspired to do something tangible in appreciation for the professional skills and support he received while in hospital.
Returning to the shed, he crafted two chairs so that others facing a similar need for medical intervention could benefit in some small way.
The two Cape Cod-style chairs are now ready to donate to the hospital in appreciation of the exemplary care and support he received in saving his life.
As Tom reflects: "I hope those who get to sit in these chairs will appreciate how much the hospital staff and their expert professional service continues to be inspirational and life-saving."
The community sheds provide a space for men not in full-time employment to be encouraged to continue using their knowledge and skills for the benefit of others.
Neil Bruce, the original creator of Hamilton men's shed said the group has gone from strength to strength.
"The guys turn up and they are just happy to have a place to be. They like making things and fixing things and it is just a home for them," Dr Bruce said.