Ever wonder how MAD-Aid sends equipment and other aid?
Let me tell you in brief how our last few weeks went to get a truck of aid ready to go from Isle of Wight to Moldova.
It always starts with one of many phone calls. From NHS or a hospice, or perhaps a person who does not need a mobility scooter anymore.
“Victoria, we have 16 beds and 16 examination couches; come tomorrow to collect them.”
Right, this equipment weighs around three tonnes in total, about 120 kg for each bed. I know the beds are working because the electronic department checked them for us. So here comes the first hurdle – to find storage space. We negotiate with the hospital to keep everything in for another week while we scramble to locate more free space. Our regular storage of two 20ft containers is already chock full of specialised equipment and over 100 armrest patient leather chairs.
But we can’t lose the beds. We know how many rusty old beds there are in the Riscani hospital alone.
In the end, just two volunteers and I move those beds in one single evening into temporary storage.
The work continues. We need to raise funds because there is too much equipment and furniture and we need a shipment to go very soon. Got it. So the truck is booked, it’s ready to go. Volunteers for loading are lined up. The ferry ticket for Saturday is bought. The paperwork is almost ready. The plan looks great!
Well, if just life would be so easy. As one of my trustees reminded me, we make plans and God laughs at us.
Suddenly I get the call that there’s an issue with the truck: the driver needs to take a 45- hour rest starting Friday evening 21:00. This news comes to me on Friday at 12:30. Yep, Friday, when the truck is booked for the next day. As if bringing a 17-meter truck to Isle of Wight isn’t a challenge in itself. The options become clear: the truck arrives the same evening or we leave the loading for Monday, which when relying on volunteers is not ideal, as most of them work during the week.
Many phone calls later, we finally get one ferry slot booked at 17.00, arriving at the first point of loading at 18.00. We have three hours, four volunteers, and a forklift to load everything in three different places. Even the rain decides to indulge us and reminds that we are in England, pouring down quite heavily.
Within 30 minutes the first place was done – 17 beds and 60+ units of different mobility items (crutches, walking frames, bath chair, commodes, etc) loaded. We move to next place – 16 examination couches and few respiratory machines.
And here I think the day could end. We park the truck next to our two containers and return the next day with another group of volunteers. However, volunteer Dorin encourages everyone to carry on for another hour, even in rain.
You guessed it! We complete loading the contents of the remaining two containers in 50 minutes, stacking the aid up as high as possible to make sure to fit it all in the truck.
Soaking wet yet fulfilled and feeling accomplished, we all went home.
We also looked well after the truck driver for two days during his 45 hour rest period.
And with cheers he drove off to deliver the joy.
Stay tuned for next part of the story when we tell you where this wonderful equipment will
make a huge difference!