The Star Christmas Gifting Tree lights up in hope for kids to be home for Christmas
For parents Bodhi and Katarina Wilson, Christmas is an emotional time.
This time last year, their 18-month-old daughter Alaska was fighting for her life in hospital following a deadly blood infection after a mosquito bite, resulting in toxic shock syndrome.
With a dangerously high fever, critically low heart rate and her organs failing, little Alaska underwent life-saving emergency surgery and was cared for in the children’s critical care unit.
“It was heart-breaking seeing Alaska in hospital. I can’t imagine if we hadn’t been able to bring our daughter home for Christmas,” Katarina says.
“To go from Alaska having a fever one minute to then needing an emergency retrieval team to take her to the hospital hours later was so unexpected. It was difficult to process.”
“Each day in hospital was filled with emotional highs and lows. We had to take in a lot of medical information and make decisions regarding her surgeries and treatments.”
Gold Coast Hospital Foundation CEO Ben Cox said a donation to Gold Coast Hospital Foundation this Christmas means so much to every doctor, every nurse and every health professional who’s fighting for people’s lives this Christmas.
“To the people of the Gold Coast, we need your help this Christmas. We want to get patients like Alaska home so they can be with their loved ones and have the Christmas they deserve at home,” Ben says.
“It’s so important the community supports Gold Coast Hospital Foundation this Christmas to put the best equipment in our doctors and nurses hands, to provide comfortable and calming facilities to get patients home and have the services there so they can be with their loved ones this Christmas.”
“Please donate now to the Gold Coast Hospital Foundation’s Christmas Appeal because every donation you make really counts.”
It was the support of Gold Coast University Hospital and Gold Coast Hospital Foundation that got the family through the challenging time.
“Thankfully the team at Gold Coast University Hospital always explained the situation to us and provided the best advice. The Critical Care Unit nurses and doctors really made us feel safe and emotionally supported, and we are forever grateful to the various teams for saving Alaska’s life.”
“I remember crying just thinking of all the poor families who have a child spending Christmas in hospital.”
“Our experience really opened our eyes to the importance of donations to charities like Gold Coast Hospital Foundation. The impact of a hospital admission can be devastating for all, so when your child’s entire world is confined to their hospital bed, it’s the extra support, refurbished facilities and gifted toys that really help them get through it.”
“The provision of medical equipment as well as entertainment is a godsend for patients. Anyone can end up in hospital at any point, and the services provided by Gold Coast Hospital Foundation make a real difference to your time spent there. Having support with things like accommodation, facilities and the best equipment to care for patients, is invaluable.”
The children’s critical care unit is not a place families expect to be spending Christmas, but for many children like Alaska, it can be the case.
Gold Coast Hospital Foundation has today launched their Christmas appeal to help patients like Alaska during life-threatening emergencies get home for Christmas.
Having a child in hospital for a lengthy amount of time is very emotionally, physically, and financially draining for many families. Gold Coast Hospital Foundation funds medical equipment, health research and support programs for patients and their families, as well as emergency accommodation assistance to help family members of patients receiving critical care for serious illness or injury.
“The day Alaska was finally well enough to leave the hospital was the happiest day of our lives,” Katarina says.
“Christmas is a very emotional time for our family. We were so lucky to have Alaska home in time last year.”
Gold Coast Hospital Foundation relies on the generosity of locals who raise crucial funds through donations, events, appeals, bequests, regular giving, and other fundraising activities.
“It means the world to us that Gold Coast Hospital Foundation is there to help children in an emergency.”
You can get involved and bring hope to families in hospital this Christmas by donating online.