by Chris Tobin
Temuka woman Sue Conway died last year but she has left a legacy for her town that could be life-saving.
When Mrs Conway’s mother Mavis Mawhinney died suddenly she found a Life Tube in her fridge. These are are small containers which have information on a person who their doctor is, what type of medication they were taking, next of kin and even information for funeral arrangements and the music to be played.
“Three months after Mavis died, Sue became unwell,” her friend Sandy McLachlan, the activities co-ordinator at Wallingford Home in Temuka, said.
“But she had decided to gift 2000 Life Tubes to the Temuka community. She ordered them and within four weeks of getting sick she passed away before the Life Tubes arrived.”
Before her health deteriorated, Mrs Conway had asked Mrs McLachlan if she would help with the Life Tubes and asked for a special note from her to be included in them.
Mrs McLachlan said the Life Tubes were hugely helpful for ambulance personnel when they arrived at a home where someone was alone and had been taken ill. The paramedics could look at the fridge and if there was a Life Tube sticker on it, they know vital information could be accessed.
“I’m ex-ambulance; for someone like a diabetic it can be life-saving,” Mrs McLachlan said.
“It’s a living document as well, so it can be updated.”
Once she took delivery of the 2000 Life Tubes, Mrs McLachlan arranged for residents at Wallingford to open 1000 containers and slip Sue Conway’s note inside.
“They got a lot of pleasure out of doing it.”
Community organisations assisted with the other 1000 and now the Life Tubes have been distributed around the town.
“Sue would be stoked. The ironic thing was she passed away at home and didn’t have a Life Tube herself but we had a lot of information that had been written down,” Mrs McLachlan said.
Sue Conway featured in the pages of The Courier last April after she won a $10,000 raffle as part of Rock and Hop.
“Every time I buy a raffle ticket, it’s a donation, so to win such a big prize was fantastic,” she said.
Just over a month later she died.