Mervyn Reddy remembers when he once relied on pushcarts, a wheelchair, and even crutches to walk.
“I couldn’t get out of bed, my legs would swell up, and I had a lot of water retention,” he said. “When I was diagnosed with heart failure, I was also in … the hospital, nothing was working.”
Today, the 61-year-old is on his feet again and aside from walking, Mervyn even feels the occasional urge to jog.
“All of a sudden I’m okay, I’m walking, I’ve got energy, I can walk for miles,” he said. “My breathing, before I had to stop. I would stop, and huff and puff, it was pretty bad. I haven’t had any swelling of the feet, of my arms, my throat. It’s really a big difference.”
The improvement in Mervyn’s health is due to the staff at RISE Community Health Centre, he explained, who he sees as positive and caring. Operated by Collingwood Neighbourhood House (CNH), RISE provides primary care and health promotion services to residents of Renfrew-Collingwood.
“They’re very, very kind and they give you the time,” said Mervyn who previously had difficulties accessing a health care provider.
As a resident of Kingsway Continental, Mervyn now receives weekly health support. At the low-rent housing facility, RISE provides weekly drop-in services onsite. Receiving care from RISE was a chance Mervyn took upon the recommendation of his building manager and it’s a chance he’s already recommended to friends.
“Everybody here at the building … they’re just gung ho when [RISE staff] come in,” he said. “When they come in, everyone’s up for it, which is a really good feeling.”
RISE also provides services to residents of Sarah Ross and Naomi Place Modular Housing, in addition to the CNH Morning Star Program, Youth Drop-In, and other programs and services in Renfrew-Collingwood. For more information, visit www.cnh.bc.ca/rise or call 604-558-8090.