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MedShed service ensures Snohomish neighbors in need have equipment

Rick Reed photo

MedShed’s angels, from left to right, front row, Larry and Kathleen Starr, Dianna Salsbury, and Snohomish Evangelical Free Church Pastor Jeff Sickles. Back row: Naomi Devlin and Karen Plate. The MedShed offers free medical supplies to anyone in need, free of charge.

SNOHOMISH — An old friend once pointed to his belly button and said, “If you have one of these, you’re in trouble.” He was alluding to the fact that one who is born is certain to die.
We all know old age and death are inevitable, but most of us are unprepared when suddenly we or loved ones need urgent health or hospice care.
My 96-year-old mother Liz was born in Snohomish and married Bill Reed. She worked in local canneries and greenhouses to help pay the bills raising two children. She was active and in good health until suddenly she wasn’t. Increasingly severe dementia and a recent fall in her home left her needing 24-hour care.
As the sole surviving family member with no health care experience, I immediately realized I was in way over my head. In panic, first things first­ — since mom could not get up to use the bathroom, I went to the grocery store to buy adult diapers. An employee there asked, “Is Liz in trouble?” When I told her mom is bed-ridden, she scribbled a note and handed it to me: “MED SHED on Avenue B. Medical Supplies. FREE!!!”
I found the MedShed online and called 425-238-8482. The woman who answered was Karen Plate, a retired nurse who listened to me and then said, “I’m very sorry to hear about your mom. You’ll need more diapers, bedliners, a hospital bed, wheelchair, commode, a belt to help lift her, a walker, and a lot more. We have everything you need. If you need help transporting and assembling the bed, my husband and son can help.”
Wow, I thought. What a God-send. Karen Plate and a small but devoted team of good Samaritans gather good quality, durable medical equipment and make it available free of charge to any who need help.
This self-less community service is affiliated with the Snohomish Evangelical Free Church and overseen by Pastor Jeff Sickles. Pastor Jeff explained, “As followers of Jesus, we are called to love our neighbors, that’s our goal with the MedShed, to serve Jesus by serving the needs of people around us. It’s wonderful to watch our dedicated volunteers offering both care and hope to people in distress.”
As I was helping my mother onto the hospital bed for the first time, I noticed a sticker on the frame that read: “Thank you for letting us serve you in the name of Jesus.”
The MedShed is always in need of durable medical equipment that is in good condition, especially wheelchairs, transport chairs, rolling or front wheel walkers, shower chairs and bedside commodes.
The MedShed is located at 210 Ave. B in the parking lot of the Snohomish Evangelical Church. It is open Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. 



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