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Rotary Club of Williamstown was the first Rotary Club in Victoria to fully understand the cause and effect of spinal injury and take positive steps to address the resulting hardships by establishing ROQUAD - founded in 1996 - and its association with the Quadraplegic Hand Foundation (QHF). QHF was constituted for the purpose of raising funds to carry out surgery on quadraplegic patients in order to restore their hand function through tendon transfer surgery and to funding a minimum of 50 cases per year to benefit from this procedure.

 ROQUAD aims are to:

  • make every quadraplegic in Australia aware of the availability of this procedure
  • lobby both Government and Private sectors for financial support
  • establish and supply all the necessary equipment for a permanent, two-bed unit exclusively for quadriplegic hand restoration surgery at the Austin Hospital

It is in Austin Hospital that the surgery is performed that can restore hand movement to 60% of the 8000 quadraplegics in Australia. Of these, only 200 have received this treatment in the last 20 years. However the number of new paraplegics grows by  250 new cases each year.

ROQUAD is fortunate in having a major sponsor in the Paraplegic Benefit Fund (PBF). PBF is a non-profit charitable benefit fund that provides financial protection against spinal cord injuries for its members. One third of all new membership fees are donated to ROQUAD.

In September 2007 ROQUAD donated $4500 to the Victorian Spinal Cord Service at Austin Health to purchase computer-based imaging equipment to assess pressure ulcers, the occurrence of which is one of the common complications of spinal cord injury.

A further $19,500 has recently been donated to the RoQUAD unit at the Austin Hospital for equipment which will help spinally injured people to walk again.

For more information contact Dr. Ronnie Goldberg OAM on 0419 206 399.

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