Supporting those in medical need
The new Masonic Samaritan Fund welcomes applications for assistance
The New Masonic Samaritan Fund (NMSF) continues to support over 500 new applications every year. The following brief case histories highlight the variety and complexity of the need and confirm the generosity of Freemasons.
Dorothy Allen, an active and energetic widow from West Lancashire, was placed on an NHS waiting list of 12-18 months for the removal of cataracts in both eyes.
Faced with the possibility that deteriorating eyesight would cause her to lose her driving licence, she applied to the NMSF.
The Fund paid for the operation on her right eye in September 2001. Her left eye was operated on the following January, courtesy of the NHS.
The photograph shows Dorothy enjoying a two-week season as the back end of a pantomime cow. Hopefully the operations have improved her vision and her hindsight.
Impact of CJD
A hospital in Wales, concerned about a possible link between CJD and the instruments used in ear, nose and throat surgery, stopped all tonsil operations.
Appeals by the Area Health Authority for government funding to purchase disposable surgical instruments had failed.
A five-year-old son of a Mason was faced with an unknown wait, and further time off school, due to continuing throat infections. His tonsils were successfully removed in October thanks to NMSF funding.
A fit and healthy 22-year-old man, working in the family carpentry business, should not need support from the NMSF.
However, when an operation to repair a badly damaged shoulder failed, it left the man unable to work.
He faced a possible two-year wait for further treatment. His father sought advice from the Lodge Almoner. Unable to work, and financially dependent on his father, an application to the NMSF was supported.
Restorative surgery, funded by the NMSF, has been completed, and the applicant continues to make good progress towards a return to work. This will give him back his independence and self-esteem.
Taxi driver's bypass
Roger Lillicrap, a Mason, is a self-employed taxi driver. In his early fifties, he would hope to continue working for many years.
Unfortunately, a diagnosis identified the need for a triple heart bypass, and offered a likely wait of nine months under the NHS.
A cardiologist said he had a high risk of a heart attack if untreated.
He turned to the Samaritan Fund for help and underwent surgery in February, and was home within a week.
We hope that he continues to make good progress and is soon back on the road.
Web site created by Mark Griffin