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New Faxitron at Red Deer hospital to benefit cancer patients

A private donation of more than $130,000 has enabled the Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre to purchase equipment that will help cancer patients.

Shannon Bailey, a medical radiation tech at the hospital, demonstrated the new Hologic Faxitron, which was purchased with money Deryl Comeau donated to the Red Deer Regional Health Foundation.

The Faxitron increases the chances of successful surgeries for cancer patients. The machine takes X-rays of tissue removed during surgery to help doctors determine whether the problematic area has been completely isolated.

This process previously took place in the hospital’s diagnostic imaging department and could take 45 minutes while patients remained under anesthesia.

The Faxitron is located in the OR during surgery and gives results much more quickly and with higher resolution, greatly reducing the time patients are under anesthesia.

Comeau is a cancer survivor who underwent surgery, so she understands the anxiety patients experience when waiting to hear whether surgery was successful.

Comeau approached the foundation in November 2021 after having heard about another hospital purchasing a Faxitron. When she learned about the benefits of the Faxitron for cancer patients undergoing surgery, she knew that she wanted to help obtain the equipment for Red Deer Hospital.

“I’m over the moon,” Comeau said when asked how she felt about the new equipment already being in use after being delivered to the hospital in August. She said she was impressed that staff began training to use the equipment the day after delivery.

The Red Deer Regional Health Foundation raises and disburses funds for programs, services and the purchase of medical equipment for the Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre and other facilities in Alberta Health Services Central Zone.