RAMS unit reopens six months after flooding
A DERRIAGHY charity that was forced to close due to flood damage for six months has finally reopened.
RAMS (Race Against Multiple Sclerosis) Therapy Centre at City Business Park opened its doors earlier this month for the 500 patients who use the facility.
Vivienne McAloney, assistant manager, said that they have contacted all the patients to remind them that the unit has re-opened.
“Some more work needs to be carried out but the necessary things have been completed,” she said. “Everything in the therapy centre was destroyed except for the Hyperbaric Oxygen Tank.
“The outside surroundings still need to be cleaned up but that is in the hands of the landlord.
“RAMS provide therapies for Multiple Sclerosis sufferers, children with cerebral palsy and people with other neurological conditions.
“The charity does not receive any government funding and still has to raise the necessary £100,000 per annum to keep the therapy centre operational.”
Hundreds of multiple sclerosis sufferers across Northern Ireland had been losing out on much needed treatment since the closure of the charity and many of the 460 sufferers who use the facility had been unable to get physiotherapy, vibrotherapy, electromagnetic stimulation therapy, massage, reflexology and advice on diet, nutrition and counselling that the unit provide.
“We had been directing many of them to Larne and Newry but many just were unable to go and have had to go without treatment,” she said. “For many the distances were just too much for the clients to travel and many had to go without. I know that the opening of the centre is certainly welcome news to many.”
RAMS was established in 1985 and offer therapies to MS sufferers, people with other neurological conditions, ME, Fibromyalgia, stroke victims and children with cerebral palsy.
In June, the unit was destroyed when it was submerged in two feet of water and raw sewage during the floods. The unit was forced to close and had to turn its clients away. Carpets and skirting boards had to be replaced and phones and computers were unworkable. The only room that was saved was the chamber where patients are offered hyperbaric oxygen therapy.
Around 30 oxygen masks which took thousands of pounds to replace were also destroyed.
RAMS relies on fund raising events and donations like those from their Fire Day and recently staff from Smyth Patterson did the Lisburn Marathon and raised £500 which will go towards replacing the masks.
Race Against Multiple Sclerosis (RAMS) was founded in 1985 by a group of MS sufferers and their carers. Apart from therapy treatment, it was considered important to provide a friendly drop-in centre so that sufferers and their carers, families and friends could meet and help each other.
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