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Dialysis patients receive handmade donated items

More than 60 patients at DaVita Pahrump Dialysis Center received a heartwarming pre-holiday gift this month.

The patients were bestowed with special kits containing knitted hand muffs, non-slip slippers and a puzzle book, courtesy of a group of women in Las Vegas belonging to Humana Charity Crafters.

The crafters, who formed in 2009, meet weekly at the Henderson Humana Guidance Center.

Each year, the group comes up with new areas where they reach out to hospitals and cancer organizations.

This year is the first time they’ve reached out to the DaVita Dialysis Center in Pahrump.

Dixon Keller, Humana Nevada sales director, said the group of 50 to 60 crafters routinely create handmade items for those being hospitalized, homeless children and veteran groups.

DaVita’s Facility Administrator Victoria Dykstra said she approached the women to learn what they could do for local patients, as dialysis treatments can lower the core body temperature.

“I had suggested the hand warmers and a vest or jacket to wear where their arms can still be exposed,” she said. “We told him that during treatment, they often get cold, so we went with the hand warmers and some booties, along with a book and pen for each patient.”

At present, the center has roughly 50 dialysis patients, and 12 home patients of varying ages.

Treatments can last for several hours.

Dykstra said the patient’s reactions were overwhelmingly positive.

“The patients are very happy to receive these gifts,” she said. “Because we are pulling blood out of the body where it goes through the machine and gets filtered, and goes back into the body, your core still gets cooled down, so it’s hard to stay warm during treatments. We also have to keep the room at a certain temperature as well.”

Dykstra also commended the crafters on their efforts to bring additional comfort to the patients.

“We are all very thankful for this and we plan on handing them out to all the patients, so it will be kind of like a Thanksgiving gift, which is perfect timing,” she said. “It’s a group of ladies that get together once or twice a week and they knit these beautiful items,” she said. “It’s a social gathering for them and they know that they are doing something good for the community. I understand even the yarn gets donated to them.”

Contact reporter Selwyn Harris at sharris@pvtimes.com. On Twitter: @sharrispvt

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