Life saving equipment for newborns has been purchased for the Bundaberg Hospital following a generous community donation.
And a Biggenden mother, whose twins arrived 15 weeks early, is thrilled that this donation has bought equipment that will benefit both mothers and babies well into the future.
The Bundaberg Health Services Foundation received $7000 from the annual Truck Drive for Kids held earlier this year by the Combined Lions Clubs (Moore Park, Bargara and BargaraLioness).
“This annual event has been a fantastic initiative of the Combined Lions Clubs and during the past four years the event has raised $45,000 for sick children at Bundaberg Hospital,”Bundaberg Health Services Foundation chairman Janet Tallon said.
“These generous donations have ensured the purchase of so much equipment over the past four years which has improved outcomes for paediatric patients,” Mrs Tallon said.
This year the Special Care Nursery has used funds raised to help purchase neonatal resuscitation equipment and a phototherapy unit.
“Both these pieces of equipment are desperately needed,” Mrs Tallon said.
In fact the purchase of the resuscitation equipment is a direct result of a medical miracle which occurred in Biggenden earlier this year.
Twins Caleb and Nathan Scholl arrived unexpectedly at the hospital on November 27 last year – at 25 weeks. Caleb weighed just 693g and Nathan was 862g.
Mum Kate said the experience of having a preterm labour had been extremely difficult but she was so thankful to have her boys at home now.
Special Care Nursery Clinical Nurse Linda Hackett, Bundaberg Hospital paediatrician Dr Judy Williams and obstetrician Dr Elize Bolton rushed to Biggenden to assist the hospital’s nursing staff.
The twins needed ventilation and for four hours Ms Hackett and Drs Williams and Boltontook turns hand ventilating the twins until they could be transferred to the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital.
“As you can imagine it was extremely labour intensive and it was also challenging for us as we did not have up-to-date equipment to monitor the quality of ventilation but the new piece of equipment will allow us to do that,” Ms Hackett said.
The new neopuffresuscitator is manually operated and will safely inflate the newborn’s lungs with oxygen avoiding the risks associated with hand-ventilation – under or over inflation.
The twins were flown to Brisbane and spent another 138 days in hospital, Caleb was in intensive care for 101 of those days.
“It was extremely scary but everything couldn’t have been done better (at the hospital),” mum Kate said. “It was incredible how the staff pulled together and the team kept ventilating my boys, only relieving each other for water breaks.
“I’m thrilled that this new piece of equipment has been bought as it will make things a lot easier in the future. ”
The phototherapy unit, also purchased from Truck Drive funds, will assist babies with jaundice which is a yellowish discolourisation of the skin due to an immature liver. Treatment usually involves the baby being exposed to intensive phototherapy while in a crib.
Called Bilisoft Bonding, the equipment is a lightweight mat which slides underneath the baby meaning the mother can still cuddle her child and breastfeed while they receive treatment.
“These are small pieces of equipment which will make a big difference to the lives of newborns,” Ms Hackett said.
“People out there in the community are extremely generous in supporting these fundraising campaigns and they can be assured that money is being well utilised,” Mrs Tallon said.
For more information about donating goods in kind or monetary donations to assisting sick patients and their families please contact the Bundaberg Health Services Foundation on 41502863.