Putting smiles on the faces of sick children is much easier thanks to everyone who donates to the Townsville Hospital Foundation.
Above photo (left to right): Ten-year-old burns patient Monty with family, The Good Guys Townsville staff and Townsville Hospital Foundation General Manager Judy Higgins.
Being in hospital can be tough for anyone, let alone for a child who is far from home. Take 10-year-old Monty from Mt Isa, for example. When Monty, who was suffering from 60 per cent burns to his body, came to The Townsville Hospital for treatment, little things like the bush animal murals in his hospital room were a big comfort.
“Monty was initially stabilised here, then transferred to Brisbane for further treatment before returning to Townsville for his rehabilitation,” says senior occupational therapist Rebecca Watson-Brown.
“His family have moved to Townsville to meet his ongoing medical needs. The burns unit treats children from all over North Queensland (south to Mackay, west to the border and including the Torres Strait).”
The burns unit has applied to the Townsville Hospital Foundation to fund more murals to keep children’s spirits up. These would be a comfort to all who require treatment in the unit.
“Local artist Jenny Finn has drawn some lovely sketches for us that we’d love to have translated into painted murals,” Rebecca says.
“We’re picturing Townsville-themed murals, featuring the Cowboys, V8s and a Magnetic Island-style underwater world.”
Left photo (left to right): Dr Daniel Carroll, Dr Bhanu Mariyappa Rathnamma and Dr Harry Stalewski are passionate about developing the burns unit so children can be treated closer to home.
Director of Paediatric Surgery Dr Daniel Carroll says having access to funds from the Townsville Hospital Foundation, who are supported by the community, complements the care provided at The Townsville Hospital.
“With doctors and nurses focused on clinical care it’s great we can receive support to provide the extra things that improve the patient experience such as murals and artworks,” Dr Carroll says.
“The Townsville Hospital Foundation does a great job of rallying the local community to raise charitable funds, which can go a long way in bringing a sense of comfort and a smile to the faces of young patients and their families.
“Obviously Townsville is a much smaller community than communities in the southern cities such as Brisbane but it’s wonderful to see donations from the public help children in North Queensland.”
Local businesses also play a vital role in improving the patient experience by donating items like movie tickets, bowling passes and other opportunities for family outings. In Monty’s case, The Good Guys Townsville donated air conditioners for his family home (pictured) as patients with large burns can’t regulate their skin temperature in the same way as patients without burns.
If you or your business would like to help children like Monty recover from a traumatic event, contact the Townsville Hospital Foundation on 4433 1337.