Lion’s bed finally finds new home

By Merna Emara
Staff Writer
memara@fortfrances.com

After about three months of searching, a hospital-type bed was finally able to find a home.

Bill Michl, Voyageur Lions Club treasurer, said a woman who had lost her trailer in a fire used a similar bed to assist her sleeping position following a back injury when she was with the Armed Forces.

“She had no insurance,” Michl said. “When we found out she needed it, we contacted her. We got a hold of her and found out things she needed. We donated a little bit to help her get by a few days in the hotel and gave her some incidentals.”

Michl said the club had purchased a hospital-type bed for a quadriplegic individual two years ago. After the individual passed away, the bed was again given out to a gentleman on Couchiching.

“He used it for almost a year and passed away,” Michl said. “The family gave it back to us. This was around Christmas time last year.”

According to Michl, the bed itself cost them $6,500 and the mattress alone was $2,000. The club did not pay the full price of the bed as it was partially paid for by a disability assistance program. The remainder was paid by a matching grant from the Northwestern Ontario Manitoba Lions Foundation.

When the bed went back to the club’s possession, they phoned the hospital to donate it. But because of COVID-19 restrictions, the bed could not be taken. The hospital phoned Community Living and at the time they had nobody on the list that required any special bed, Michl added.

“We were hoping to give the bed to somebody that needs it,” Michl said. “Worse comes to the worst, we could have sold it to somebody that didn’t really need it, but just wanted it. But we’re hoping that it could be used because the whole purpose of it was to get a bed for somebody that really needed that type of bed.”

Michl said when the club buys any equipment, it becomes the owner’s property, but the last family knew the bed’s value, so they gave it back to the club.

Although the bed transferred in ownership, the club carries out checks to make sure it works.

“We cleaned it all up and washed it all down,” Michl said. “We’ve always checked it out and cleaned it up real good before we pass it on.”

Michl said their motto is wherever there is need, there is a Lion. Over the years, they have bought hearing aids, eyeglasses and contributed to medical travel expenses.

“Where there’s a need, we try to be there,” Michl said. “We’re eligible through the Lions International for disaster grants if things like floods or fires come up, so we keep our eyes and ears out to where we can fit in in the community.”

Michl added that they are happy to see the bed being used by someone who needs it.