For two-year-old Evan Pullinger a splash in a caravan park swimming pool is a great new sensation.
The Sydney tot is diving into his seaside holiday thanks to the park’s latest edition.
The Big Red Kidney Bus parked at the Hopkins River Big 4 Holiday Park means Evan can enjoy a swim while his dad Mark undertakes necessary dialysis.
Former English resident Mark Pullinger has required daily kidney dialysis for the past 12 years.
At home Mr Pullinger is connected to a dialysis machine for eight hours overnight.
Thanks to Monash Health and Kidney Health Australia Mr Pullinger is undertaking five hours of dialysis every alternate day whilst in Warrnambool for six days.
“I’m a home dialysis patient normally,” he said. “I’ve got my own machine at home and I usually do this at night time while I’m asleep.”
First diagnosed aged 12 in 1977, Mr Pullinger said travel was previously restricted by hospital availability.
“To travel you’ve got to have access to a machine and often hospitals are hard to get into because they’re over subscribed,” he said. “This is good for the whole family.”
Mr Pullinger said it was wife Rebecca who researched the bus’ itineraries.
“We manage to travel around,” she said. “But we figured since we’ve got Evan now it’d be easy to stay in a caravan park with a swimming pool.”
The pair admit visiting Warrnambool had not been “on their radar” previously.
“We’ve been to the area years ago before I was having dialysis,” Mr Pullinger said. “We travelled down the Great Ocean Road but we never made it to Warrnambool.”
“You do tend to choose your holiday destinations by where you can dialyse.”
“It’s very expensive in some countries,” he said. “And some countries will only dialyse for a few hours. The longer you do it the better for you and the slower you do it the better for you but you’re restricted by who manages the machines.
“We’re very lucky here in Australia and you’re particularly lucky here in Victoria.”
The Big Red Kidney Bus will be parked at The Big 4 Hopkins River Holiday Park until December 1.
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