Main menu

Help a healthcare worker during Covid-19 Featured

You can help Wishlist spread love during this unprecedented time.

The Sunshine Coast community is pulling together and helping our local frontline health staff.

There are many ways to do this – from a message of support – to creating a virtual fundraiser!

We’ve compiled a list just for you. Please click here and thank you for supporting our local health staff who, without a doubt, will be pushed to the limit in the coming weeks and months.

“We are our finest when we take care of each other” – Katherine Center.

The year that was – update from Lisa Rowe

We all agree that 2020 has proven to be year like no other. 

A year that’s seen us all realise, in waves of astonishment and disbelief, that nothing is guaranteed … the overseas holiday you’ve been working towards, attending your daughter’s wedding, taking part in the Coast’s favourite annual fundraising appeal or even attending a loved one’s funeral.

We’ve been confronted by the reality of a health crisis not experienced by our generation and I certainly feel eternally grateful to call Australia, and in particular the Sunshine Coast, home.

We’ve witnessed triumph of the human spirit on a grand scale with moving gestures of kindness and unity featuring on social media and otherwise depressing news bulletins, and gestures of gratitude across the globe for the heroes of this awful year – our health workers risking all to save lives.

We’ve seen the Sunshine Coast again support it’s own by donating generously to Care Packs for vulnerable patients being sent home to quarantine or isolation, and gifts for staff of our hospitals to thank them for their service.

Our charity, and so many others, suffered a dramatic financial setback when restrictions saw  activities such as Mix FM’s Give Me 5 for Kids and Wishlist Spring Carnival cancelled.  But we were humbled and so very grateful to see the Coast give generously to our Wishlist Giving Day in August, raising $240,000.

Local heroes Mark and Tanya Martin of Narellan Pools auctioned another “Sam’s Pool’ – the annual tribute to their beautiful son Sam – raising $37,900 for “Give Me 5” and promising the lucky buyer they’d be swimming in their pool by Christmas.

Heritage Bank donated $10,000 to fund more Kits for Kids, an initiative started a year ago that sees Wishlist provide backpacks to children taken into out-of-home care through Child Protection.  Often these children leave home with nothing, so the backpack contains pyjamas, a change of clothes, books, a teddy bear, toiletries and a torch.  The torch is a big winner because most of the children are scared of the dark.

The Rotary Club of Caloundra Pacific generously provided $5,000 to support the cost of accommodation for families who are unable to afford the $60 per night fee at Wishlist House or Reed House.

Sunshine Coast Challenge Golf Inc donated a further $5,000 to Wishlist for priority needs of local hospitals, taking the total of their annual donation to Wishlist beyond $100,000.

The local Clown Doctor service with crafters Lottie and Margaret.

Ord Minnett donated a further $10,000 to support adolescent mental health patients, which we will hold until a project is identified by the team.

Our Tropical Escape raffle is in the final week, so far raising a record $22,400 for Wishlist.  I spent a wonderful week at Niramaya Villas & Spa, Port Douglas recently which resulted in the generous donation of a five night escape for six people.  I know the winners will have the time of their lives in tropical Far North Queensland.  We can’t thank enough the team at Niramaya Resort, Calypso Reef Cruises and Alliance Airlines for their generosity.

So it’s fair to say that we’ve started a “spendemic” in recent months thanks to the success of Wishlist Giving Day, grant funding and the support of our donors.

Thanks to Mix FM’s Give Me 5 for Kids, the Woolworths Wall Token appeal and the Children’s Hospital Foundation work has begun on the long awaited family room for the Paediatric Critical Care Unit.  The $185,000 project is scheduled for completion by Christmas and will provide a place of solace for mums and dads at the bedside of a sick child at SCUH.  Wishlist House is only a short walk from the hospital but we know that sometimes even that is too far away from your sick baby or child, so we’ve created this special space for PCCU, modelled on areas we’ve already fitted out in the Neonatal and Children and Adolescent Ward at SCUH.

We’ve recently extended the local Clown Doctor service for another two years and increased the visits from two to three days per week, thanks to Mix FM’s Give Me 5 for Kids and a donation from Armesto’s Transport.  This commitment of $370,000 ensures this priceless service continues at the Children’s Ward, Paediatric Outpatients and Emergency Department at SCUH until January 2023.

Heritage Bank presentation for ‘Kits for Kids’

We’ve delivered a $73,000 colposcope to Nambour Hospital to help reduce the waiting list of women awaiting further gynaecological screening.  Nambour Ladies Golf Club helped with this purchase.  Work is underway on the sensory garden behind Nambour Hospital, adjacent the Wellbeing Garden funded by Wishlist many years ago.

We’ve directed $9,964 to ATSI Health Promotion and education resources, provided a $7,150 express milk freezer for the neonatal unit, and bought a bariatric suit for the Patient Handling Education team at SCUH.

Intra-oral cameras have been funded for Gympie and SCUH, and there’s one on the way to Noosa Oral Health.

We’ve also just ordered some IPads for the residents of our Health Service’s only aged care facility, Glenbrook Aged Care – to be used as distractive therapy tools and to enable them to interact with family and loved ones via Skype.

$3,000 worth of books and resources has delivered Gympie Hospital a “Get Kids Reading Again” initiative.

We’ve extended the Music Therapy program at Dove Palliative Care at Caloundra for another three years thanks to donations to the service, a commitment of $123,000.

A major project we’ve been waiting to commence at Gympie Hospital has hit a snag, but we’re working with the Health Service to identify a work-around that will see a reduced size Rehabilitation Garden built for hospital patients at Gympie as soon as possible.

The Blackall Range Woodcrafters Guild continues to work with us to support dementia patients, and to keep the cost down on updating our honour wall in the reception of Wishlist at SCUH.

The Blackall Range Woodcrafters Guild giving resources to Nambour Hospital patients.

Our volunteers have been missed throughout our hospitals for most of the year, so we’re glad to see them returning. Wishlist accommodation facilities and Wishlist Coffee Houses operate largely thanks to volunteer support and we even have volunteer assistance in the office.  We have seen an extraordinary response to our call for help for Christmas Wrapping at Sunshine Plaza with almost every shift for the whole of December filled.

Volunteers have been in the office this week packing Care Packs, which we’ll be distributing to wards from Caloundra to Gympie for vulnerable patients on discharge from a local hospital. 

The packs are filled with groceries thanks to $1,000 from Woolworths, more luxury skincare products donated by Alpha-H, chocolates and snacks from The Happy Snack Company, toiletries from Colgate and Wishlist partner Mercure Lake Kawana, vouchers for fresh produce delivered to your door and two hours of free home support from Just Better Care Sunshine Coast, which might provide a house clean, or transport for a shopping trip or doctor’s visit.  Scentsy donated scented teddy bears, Nutworks (Ginger Factory) donated nuts and Wishlist partner Wealthmed donated a sea of jelly beans.

One example of a Wishlist Care Pack for a female paediatric patient.

Our Christmas fundraising activity is working to raise $70,000 for a range of equipment needed at the Opthalmology Service at Caloundra Hospital. This will add to the $430,000 worth of laser equipment that Wishlist and Ausmar Homes provided to the hospital in 2012, thanks to The House the Coast Built. Equipment that immediately reduced waiting lists, prevented Coast patients from having to travel to Brisbane and greatly helped with a world-wide recruitment campaign to attract opthalmologists to the Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service.

As with all we do, the provision of this equipment will help facilitate easier access to public healthcare for Coast families and beyond. 

Whether it be through the provision of affordable accommodation in or near a local hospital, new equipment to help expedite the treatment process, the temporary distraction offered by a Clown Doctor or Delta Dog visit, or the benefit of knowledge gained by a nurse awarded an education scholarship – it’s all thanks to our donors and supporters.

PIC: Our therapy dog Norman visiting a patient this week.

We’re delighted by the opening of NightQuarter at Birtinya, the exciting “Eat Street” of the Sunshine Coast with live performances and immersive experiences, fabulous food and festive fun in the leadup to Christmas.  

ChristmasQuarter on the 6th, 10th, 13th and 20th December will help us all to bring on the festive spirit while raising funds for Wishlist at the same time.  Use code “wishlist” to redeem a 10% discount on adult foundation memberships and $5 from every adult membership helps our work.  The Coast is lucky to have this exciting out-of-the-box performing arts precinct on our doorstep so check it out as soon you can.

We’re also fortunate to have the likes of Wishlist partners Sunshine Toyota, Ausmar Homes, Wealthmed, McDermott Aviation, Quikcorp, Push Productions, FTA Accountants, TShopBiz, BOQ Buderim and Maroochydore, Mercure Lake Kawana, Mix FM, Butler McDermott lawyers, the Sunshine Coast Daily and April Ford on the Sunshine Coast.  Through their ongoing partnership with our charity these organisations contribute significantly to everything we do, and we could not be without them. They offer Health Service staff the opportunity to save time and money by bringing services to hospital campuses and they each invest significantly in enhancing local health services. We owe our partners a great debt of gratitude for their continued support of the Wishlist cause.

Let’s all enjoy this festive season and celebrate all the hope it brings. A long hot summer awaits our beautiful country and we all deserve some love and laughter with friends and family. May it fill your cup.

Merry Christmas to you all and thank you for your support of Wishlist.

Lisa.

$10,000 GRANT FOR CHILDREN ENTERING OUT-OF-HOME-CARE

High risk and vulnerable children who are in crisis situations will benefit from a landmark $10,000 grant from The Heritage Bank Charitable Foundation.   

Wishlist announced the grant today to help to provide ‘Kits for Kids’ for children of all ages who enter out-of-home-care.

The ‘kits’ are essentially backpacks filled with new clothes like pyjamas, underwear and casual clothes, plus a soft toy, books, baby care items if needed and basic grooming necessities.

This year alone, almost 100 vulnerable children have been given these backpacks from Child Protection Liaison Unit (CPLU) officers which operate out of the Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service (SCHHS).

Wishlist CEO Lisa Rowe said the unit had facilitated the care of around 430 children and adolescents over the past year.

“This simple gesture of a bag with resources and special items for a child can offer comfort in the most distressing and traumatic time in their life,” Ms Rowe said.

“Children who enter out-of-home care often have no personal items of their own and are in crisis situations. The CPLU officers are now able to provide resources on health, developmental and trauma to support and educate parents and carers on key issues and services, thanks to the funding of these Kits for Kids.”

The Heritage Bank Foundation’s Executive Officer Paul Olds said Wishlist’s application for funding struck at the core of the foundation’s mission to support organisations who deliver lasting and positive impacts in the lives of people.

“It was not an easy task to select the successful recipients for our first grant round at a foundation, as we received applications from so many terrific charities,” Mr Olds said.

“We chose Wishlist because our staff really like what Wishlist do and want to get behind such a great project.” 

Ms Rowe said for children in care, the resources not only provided basic provisions, but comfort and assurance that someone cares.

“A CPLU health advisor recently told me of a little boy who had just entered care who was very excited to receive a pack. He thanked the staff member and said it was his birthday the week before but he didn’t get anything because he mum and dad had a big fight. There had been a major domestic violence incident which resulted in the children entering care. 

“He then proceeded to pull everything out the bag and was most impressed by the $3 torch, he immediately changed into his new shorts and t-shirt and went around all household members saying ‘look at my new clothes’.”

The Heritage Bank Charitable Foundation has directed $10,000 to Wishlist for ‘Kits for Kids’ to be purchased and distributed to vulnerable children accessing care through the CPLU over the next 12 months.

Book launch to celebrate Wishlist House

There’s not much Wishlist won’t tackle, including releasing a book featuring The House The Coast Built – also known as Wishlist House.

The book was made possible by two local writers, Maya Gurry and Megan Woodward who donated their time and skills to create the story of fictional characters Will and Ellie.

It tells the story of The House The Coast Built and the tale of how the house became a ‘home’.

Photo: Authors Maya Gurry and Megan Woodward.

“I think it’s sometimes difficult to explain what the house is about, and the easiest way to do that was in story form,” author Maya Gurry said.

“So the story is of Will and Ellie. Ellie ended up in hospital and Will and his parents needed somewhere to stay close to the hospital to be able to support her and feel like they could be close to a loved one.

“And that’s what the house is really all about, making sure families can be close together, that they have a safe place and feel like they are at home rather than being in hotel accommodation.”

Author Megan Woodward said she was thrilled to be part of the project.  

“Maya and I are both creatives, we have PR and journalism behind us…. And we put on our writing hats as a way of explaining why this house is so important for families who need a place to stay and be close to their kids,” Ms Woodward said.

“It’s exciting to be part of something that is going to be a Sunshine Coast mainstay forever more.”

Photo: Megan Woodward and Maya Gurry with illustrator Rebecca Croft.

Wishlist launched The Story of Will, Ellie and The House The Coast Built on October 30, 2020.

For more information about Wishlist House or the book click here or phone (07) 5202 1777.  

Wishlist House helps Curra family

Mum-of-two Ellie Hobby is no stranger to little miracles.

Her first-born Vinnie was born prematurely and spent weeks in the Neonatal Unit at the Sunshine Coast University Hospital (SUCH) in 2019, but there was no way Ellie and her husband Dane were able to prepare for their second son’s entrance into the world.

The family from Curra, north of Gympie, had to make the 110km trip to SCUH in July when Ellie started to experience contractions.

“We were out with friends in the afternoon and I thought I was having Braxton Hicks, so I didn’t think much of the pain as these were quite common during my pregnancy,” Ellie said.

“At about 7:30pm we decided to call SCUH to ask if we should come down to get checked out. Leaving home I still didn’t believe I was in labour until we were in the car on our way when the contractions started to get very intense. I felt the urge to push 30 minutes away from the hospital so it was a very quick drive down the highway.”

Within 14 minutes of arriving at hospital, Leon was born at just 33 weeks weighing 1940 grams.

“As he was born so premature he needed to go to the Neonatal Ward straight away. We spent exactly three weeks there where Leon was on a CPAP (to help Leon’s airways), treated for jaundice and learnt to feed and grow.”

During this time the Hobby’s were able to stay at Wishlist House to ensure they were close to their newborn.

“Wishlist House was amazing. Being able to stay at Wishlist House meant that my husband Dane and my son Vinnie were all able to be together.”

In fact, Vinnie celebrated his first birthday at the six-bedroom custom-built ‘home away from home’.

“Vinnie absolutely loved the kids playroom downstairs. It was a nice and close to the hospital to walk and I always felt it was a safe area. In what was a very long drawn-out three weeks it made it so much easier not having to travel back home and it meant that we could all still be together at night.

“I was still able to be there for my one-year-old with putting him to bed and then I could go back to the hospital and be with my newborn to feed him.”

Ellie said Leon has now been discharged from hospital and is thriving at home in Curra.

Wishlist CEO Lisa Rowe said the house – built by Ausmar Homes and more than 120 local businesses – has welcomed more than 43 families since opening in May this year.

“This beautiful new home is available for patients, families and carers who need to stay close to SCUH while undergoing treatment, surgery or emergency stays,” Ms Rowe said.

Guests may also be eligible for a travel subsidy if they live further than 50km of the patient’s closest public hospital or public health facility.

Wishlist is the Sunshine Coast and Gympie’s hospital foundation which funds vital medical equipment, services to support patients and families, emergency accommodation and innovative local research projects.

Donations to Wishlist go directly to the cause as Wishlist’s operational expenses are covered by commercial enterprise, such as the Nambour Hospital carpark.

Wishlist House helping remote families

More than 45 separate families have benefitted from the Coast’s ‘home away from home’ since opening in May, with Wishlist House providing comfort in a time of medical crisis.

The Fenton’s are just one family who recently stayed at Wishlist House after Nanango grandfather Ned Fenton had a tractor accident. 

The 87-year-old was working on his acreage block west of the Sunshine Coast on September 5 when he had a serious accident which left him with life-threatening injuries.

Steffy and Ned Fenton with Ned’s daughter Gina.

“The day before Father’s Day our world was turned upside down,” Ned’s daughter Gina Uhlmann recalls.

“We were in shock and devastated to hear that our strong, independent, active, funny, loving father was being transported from Nanango to the Sunshine Coast University Hospital (SCUH) after a tractor accident.”

Ned’s wife of 29 years Steffy Fenton travelled with family the 170km distance to Birtinya to be by her husband’s side, staying at nearby Wishlist House as the large family gathered to support Ned.

“Ned was in the Intensive Care Unit at the time, thankfully there were positives each day,” Mrs Fenton said.

Ned broke nine ribs, his collarbone, has grade three damage to the bones in his face, a lacerated liver and bruising on his lungs.

“We have been overwhelmed by the care of hospital staff and Wishlist House has been a God send,” Mrs Fenton said. 

“When I walked into the home, it was like a big warm hug,” Mrs Uhlmann added.

“It was a place for us all to be together and download and comfort each other at night. To be able to do that closeby makes such a difference.

“Through this most difficult time when you feel displaced, confused and the uncertainty of our future with our dad, husband, father-in-law, grandad and great-grandad we were so lucky to be advised from staff of the fabulous new facility Wishlist House for family and carers of loved ones in hospital.

“Dad is improving each day, which I believe is also helped with the fact that he is able to have his family close.”

The six-bedroom two-storey Wishlist House was built by award-winning Coast builder Ausmar Homes and more than 120 local businesses, while the land was purchased by 92.7 Mix FM’s Give Me 5 For Kids appeal.

Wishlist CEO Lisa Rowe said there was a strong demand for the facility within walking distance to SCUH.

“This home away from home is available for patients, families and carers who need to stay close to SCUH while undergoing treatment, surgery or emergency stays,” Ms Rowe said.

“The Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service (SCHHS) catchment is one of the fastest growing regions in Queensland.

“According to the Primary Health Network, our residents are experiencing higher rates of certain chronic diseases compared to the state average, and our hospital admission rates are higher compared to similar regions in the state. Due to this, we continue to seek out funding opportunities to provide more affordable accommodation to support those needing the services of our major hospital.”

For more information about Wishlist’s hospital accommodation facilities, please visit wishlist.org.au or phone 5202 1777.

Wishlist is the Sunshine Coast’s hospital foundation which funds vital medical equipment, services to support patients and families, emergency accommodation and innovative local research projects.

Donations to Wishlist go directly to the cause, as Wishlist’s operational expenses are covered by commercial enterprise, such as the Nambour Hospital carpark.

Wishlist’s ‘Mike Kelly Bursary’ 2018 recipient graduates – with distinction.

Registered Nurse and 2018 Mike Kelly Bursary recipient, Michael Ruutz, has had a career that is anything but boring. By the time he was in his mid-20’s, Michael had been a butcher, a timber grader, a postie and a youth worker.

In his early 30’s, Michael moved to the Northern Territory where he decided to take on study at university, and enrolled in a Bachelor of Nursing at CDU, completing an intensive degree within two years. This led him to various roles as a Registered Nurse in Surgery, DEM, Paediatrics and then as the Chronic Conditions Nurse Educator in Indigenous Health, and finally as the Clinical Team Leader within the Darwin Prison. He also worked in England and Africa in 2004 with his wife, setting up a health clinic in a Kenyan orphanage.

In 2011 Michael and his wife Liz adopted three children from Taiwan. “This was a very busy time for us, with me working full-time and on-call, and taking on three gorgeous children who at the time, didn’t speak any English. Shortly after the adoption, Liz became pregnant with identical twins, so we made the decision in 2015 to come to the Sunshine Coast, to be closer to our family in Queensland.” Michael said.  

Upon the couples return to the Sunshine Coast, Michael took off to raise the children while Liz returned to her career as a Registered Midwife at the Nambour General Hospital in Paediatrics and Maternity Ward. Liz now continues at SCUH in the Antenatal Clinic, and teaching Childbirth Education.

Michael Ruutz and colleagues from the Women’s and Family Services Dept.

A few years later, with five children, three of which were still in nappies, Michael returned to work and accepted a part-time role within the Paediatric Department at the Sunshine Coast University Hospital.

“While I was an experienced Registered Nurse in Paediatrics in the NT, I hadn’t received any qualifications.  In Queensland, caring for paediatric patients who are at high risk of deterioration requires staff to hold a Graduate Certificate in Paediatric Nursing, so I applied to The University of Tasmania to study remotely.”   

With tuition fees close to $4,000, the couple were concerned with how they were going to fund Michael’s further education.

“With both my wife and I working part-time, five children and a mortgage to pay, we were at a loss as to how we could afford for me to return to studies. It was at this time that Liz suggested that I apply for a grant through Wishlist.”

With help from the Nurse Unit Manager for Women’s and Families Services, Anne-Marie Holmes, Michael submitted his application for Wishlist’s Mike Kelly Scholarship. 

“We figured, even if we received a few hundred dollars, this would help us for a few grocery shops to keep food on the table.”

The Mike Kelly Scholarship is given each year in honour of Wishlist Chairman Mike Kelly.  Under his guidance Wishlist has raised more than $18 million for local health services, currently committing $1million to local health needs each year.

The inaugural Mike Kelly Academic Scholarship is designed to enable Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service Staff to apply for financial support to participate in relevant Undergraduate or Post Graduate studies offered through university or the VET sector.

“On the day I won the award and was given the grant funding, I suspected something was happening. Quite a few of the other Paediatric nurses were telling me to make sure that I took my lunch break at a specific time. I think even a few of the patients were in on it too. So when I walked into the lunch room and saw a group of my workmates, my wife and kids there, Mike Kelly and a few of the Wishlist team I knew it was about the funding application. But I still only expected it to be a few hundred dollars.”

“When I realised that the grant was for the full tuition amount, I immediately felt a weight lift off my shoulders. I thought WOW, now we can relax a little bit knowing that we don’t have to struggle to find the money to pay for this”.

Michael, his wife Liz, four of their five children and Mike Kelly.

Two years on, Michael has graduated with a Graduate Certificate of Nursing (Paediatric Nursing), with distinction. This certificate allows Michael to specialise as a Paediatric Nurse, and care for children and their families with a variety of needs and illnesses.

“With Distinction”

“Winning the Mike Kelly Bursary has really helped my nursing career. With the new qualification, I have increased knowledge and confidence in my care, and am now acting in team leadership roles within the Paediatric Department. The further training has not only extended my knowledge base, it allows me to help my colleagues and the student nurses as well. I feel personally empowered to not only deliver exceptional care for our paediatric patients, but I now feel confident that I can help empower my fellow colleagues.” 

“I urge any staff member from the Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service, who are interested in attending career development days or furthering their education, to apply. The process is simple, you complete the forms online, and give certain forms to your line manager who will do all the advocating for you. I strongly encourage staff to apply. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Just GO FOR IT!”

Wishlist’s Academic Scholarships are open once a year in October.

CLICK HERE to find out more, or to apply.

HOUSE HELPING REMOTE FAMILIES

More than 43 families have benefitted from the Coast’s ‘home away from home’ since opening in May, with Wishlist House providing comfort in a time of medical crisis.

The Fenton’s are just one family who recently stayed at Wishlist House after Nanango grandfather Ned Fenton had a tractor accident. 

The 87-year-old was working on his acreage block west of the Sunshine Coast on September 5 when he had a serious accident which left him with life-threatening injuries.

Photo: Daughter Gina Uhlmann and Ned Fenton’s wife Steffy.

“The day before Father’s Day our world was turned upside down,” Ned’s daughter Gina Uhlmann recalls.

“We were in shock and devastated to hear that our strong, independent, active, funny, loving father was being transported from Nanango to the Sunshine Coast University Hospital (SCUH) after a tractor accident.”

Ned’s wife of 29 years Steffy Fenton travelled with family the 170km distance to Birtinya to be by her husband’s side, staying at nearby Wishlist House as the large family gathered to support Ned.

“Ned was in the Intensive Care Unit but there are positives each day,” Mrs Fenton said.

Ned broke nine ribs, his collarbone, has grade three damage to the bones in his face, a lacerated liver and bruising on his lungs.

“We have been overwhelmed by the care of hospital staff and Wishlist House has been a God send,” Mrs Fenton said. 

“When I walked into the home, it was like a big warm hug,” Mrs Uhlmann added.

Photo: Wishlist House upper level.

“It was a place for us all to be together and download and comfort each other at night. To be able to do that close by makes such a difference.

“Through this most difficult time when you feel displaced, confused and the uncertainty of our future with our dad, husband, father-in-law, grandad and great-grandad we were so lucky to be advised from staff of the fabulous new facility Wishlist House for family and carers of loved ones in hospital.

“Dad is improving each day, which I believe is also helped with the fact that he is able to have his family close.”

The six-bedroom two-storey Wishlist House was built by Coast builder Ausmar Homes and more than 120 local businesses, while the land was purchased by 92.7 Mix FM’s Give Me 5 For Kids appeal.

Wishlist CEO Lisa Rowe said there was a strong demand for the facility within walking distance to SCUH.

“This home away from home is available for patients, families and carers who need to stay close to SCUH while undergoing treatment, surgery or emergency stays,” Ms Rowe said.

“The Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service (SCHHS) catchment is one of the fastest growing regions in Queensland.

“According to the Primary Health Network, our residents are experiencing higher rates of certain chronic diseases compared to the state average, and our hospital admission rates are higher compared to similar regions in the state. Due to this, we continue to seek out funding opportunities to provide more affordable accommodation to support those needing the services of our major hospital.”

For more information about Wishlist’s hospital accommodation facilities, please visit wishlist.org.au or phone 5202 1777.

Wishlist is the Sunshine Coast’s hospital foundation which funds vital medical equipment, services to support patients and families, emergency accommodation and innovative local research projects.

Donations to Wishlist go directly to the cause as Wishlist’s operational expenses are covered by commercial enterprise, such as the Nambour Hospital carpark.

Wishlist Funded – Lateral Arm Accessory

They say, ‘women come in all shapes and sizes.’ This couldn’t be truer for the Breast Imaging Radiographers at the Sunshine Coast University Hospital, who this week received a very special piece of equipment, funded by Wishlist.

Although seemingly a small device, Senior Radiographer Pamela Cunningham explains how the $14,025 ‘Lateral Arm Accessory’ will make a very big difference to small breasted patients needing a mammogram guided biopsy within the Medical Imaging Department at SCUH. 

PICTURE: Pamela Cunningham, Senior Radiographer and Melanie Williams, Clinical Manager Radiology with the Lateral Arm Accessory, which attaches to the mammography unit.

“When a patient presents with a breast lesion, we could perform the biopsy via an MRI, Ultrasound or mammography, with the first preference always an ultrasound, as its more comfortable for the patient. However, if the lesions are particularly small or present as calcification’s, the patient is usually required to have a mammogram guided biopsy.”

 Mammogram Guided Biopsy as the name suggests is a procedure where the breast is compressed between two firm surfaces to spread the breast tissue, ready for an x-ray which guides where the breast tissue sample is to be taken.

“Commonly the lesions we are searching for are very small. It can be like looking for a grain of salt in a bowl full of jelly. Accuracy pinpointing the lesion and collecting a sufficient sample size can be difficult.” said Mrs Cunningham.  

Lateral Arm Accessory.

Patients in these circumstances have historically needed to be referred externally or would sometimes elect to go straight to surgery to have the lesion biopsied or removed.

“With the lateral arm accessory, our options have expanded. It is now possible for the biopsy to be taken from either side of the breast, rather than just the top. This makes the procedure more accurate and comfortable for the patient.”

“Our department really are excited that we have received this piece of equipment. It means that ANY woman who comes here for a biopsy under mammogram guidance will be able to have the procedure performed at SCUH, regardless of where the lesion is positioned or the size of their breast.” Mrs Cunningham said.

The Lateral Arm Accessory was funded by our Wishlist Regular Givers.

August update from Wishlist CEO

One of the positives I’m sure will emerge from a post-pandemic world is a renewed appreciation for the little things in life.

We certainly know at Wishlist that it’s the little things that count (not taking away from big donations… we love them too!) 

Wishlist Giving Day on August 20 was an outstanding success on so many levels, but the theme – give a little, help a lot – could not be more true.

To have raised more than $241,757 for our ongoing and future funding commitments is a great relief but there were so many other benefits from our first ever digital fundraising appeal. 

Our health teams rallied like never before for their foundation and we couldn’t be more grateful. Thanks to prizes donated by Mercure Lake Kawana and Infectious Clothing we had teams competing to raise the most funds for weeks prior. These were incredibly generous donations for busy teams devoted to long hours spent keeping patients alive and well. 

The Anaesthetics team at SCUH won by raising $9,550 and holding baby photo and “guess the number of needle caps in the bottle” competitions and a twilight charity run.

The Extended Day Surgery Unit at SCUH came a close second $7,677 and Nambour Hospital at $5,030. We had the paediatric team dressed up as presents and super-heroes and the team from MASH.

Photo: Extended Day Surgery Unit at SCUJH

Our business community not only donated $70,000 in matched giving funds, but sent their sales teams into the temporary call-centre at the front of SCUH to ring in donations.

Thanks to our corporate matchers Sunshine Toyota, Project Urban, Exemplar Health, Just Better Care, Protector Aluminum, IGA Maleny, Westpac Kawana, Forest Glen Bakery, Rockwall Partners, BDO, Medwell and Telstra Shops Caloundra, Kawana, Nambour and Birtinya we reached our initial target of $140,000 by lunchtime. Again, those who gave had their donations doubled by this proactive group of community conscious businesses and that went a long way towards our target.

Thanks to Ray White Maroochydore, Ausmar Homes, your local Telstra Shops, Wealthmed, Sunshine Toyota, Poole Group, Travel Associates and a number of our generous volunteers we surpassed our next target of $200,000, then $230,000 to reach the impressive tally of $241,757. Darren Venning from Sunshine Toyota matched every cent his sales team raised and won the title of most successful fundraising team – bringing in $20,070 on top of his contribution as a corporate matcher. A little time on the day helped us reach people we never would have and took us past our goal – twice.

Darren Venning from Sunshine Toyota – top fundraising team.

The team at 92.7 Mix FM devoted their entire day to Wishlist Giving Day, broadcasting from SCUH from 9am to 6pm and interviewing our health team, Wishlist supporters and donors. The exposure our charity received throughout the day was priceless and I’ve no doubt that the day would not have been anywhere near as successful without the incredibly generous support of Mix FM. 

This organisation has raised $5.5 million for paediatric needs across our local hospitals and has, quite simply, changed the face of local paediatric services in the most priceless of ways. They continue to dedicate the resources of the station to making the Sunshine Coast even better for our families and we can’t thank them enough for supporting Wishlist.

See the list of Top Fundraisers here.

So, thanks to you all, we’re now busy reviewing our long Wish List to ensure we continue all the important things that make life a little easier for our loved ones in hospital.

We have recently ordered three paediatric resuscitation trolleys for emergency departments at SCUH, Nambour and Gympie thanks to Mix FM’s Give Me 5 for Kids. To standardise this equipment saves time for staff who may not be familiar with the trolleys currently in use, and every child-size need is in one place. Little things, but very important when you’re racing the clock to save a sick or injured child.

We also ordered a blanket warmer for Ward 5D at SCUH thanks to a recent donation from the Heller Foundation. One of our team recalls a period in hospital where the only thing that kept her buoyed was the warm blanket the nurses would bring when she needed it most – a warm hug at a time of fear and sadness.

We’ve also ordered a bariatric training mannequin for staff of the SCHHS, and a bilaterial arm accessory for SCUH to assist with breast cancer biopsies. The bilateral arm was purchased with proceeds of Wishlist Melbourne Cup last year, with funds remaining from the fit-out of the sensory rooms at Breastscreen. The beautiful imagery donated by local photographer Ross Eason brings a sense of peace and calm to the rooms … little things.

Pic: Wishlist-funded Breastscreen updates at Nambour Hospital.

The unveiling of these rooms took place this month with the attendance of Buderim Foundation, who partnered with Wishlist on the project. This serene environment was also thanks to sponsors of the Melbourne Cup event – Spire Law, TShop Biz and BDO. 

$7,000 worth of resources for the Acute Restorative Care Unit arrived recently to help provide distraction from the clinical environment of the ward for patients with dementia. The equipment is part of suite of sensory enrichment resources to transform space within the ward with sound, images, music, lighting and colour – when the redevelopment work is complete and space permits. Until then we’re funding what we can to make a difference, thanks to the past support of Kruger Law, Just Better Care and Poole Group.

We’ve also funded $6,000 in promotional equipment and merchandise to support education and health screening for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community, thanks to the Woolworths Wall Token Appeal, and we’ve just ordered another $9,000 more.

$4,760 worth of pressure cushions were delivered to the Community Chronic Conditions Service to help the physiotherapists determine the best long-term solution to preventing or healing pressure injuries.

The fine work of our physios is something our own Jeff McColl has firsthand knowledge of after experiencing a serious motorbike accident a few months ago. He’s finally back on deck after a lengthy healing period, and he’s become personally familiar with the wonderful work of our health team.

Our Care Packs were distributed to hundreds of vulnerable patients and the stories about how they were received have warmed us all. Nurse navigators advised one pack had broken through to a mental health patient in such a way that it enabled the team to work with him in ways that were seemingly impossible prior.

Pic: One of the Wishlist Care Packs

Reed House and Wishlist House have been busy providing accommodation to families needing an affordable option near SCUH and Nambour Hospital. We’ve had a mix of cancer patients from Gympie and beyond receiving ongoing cancer treatment, families needing to be close to a loved one in hospital and new mums with little ones in Neonatal who need to be close. Our volunteers at Reed House continue to provide a free shuttle service run to SCUH each day, as required by our guests at Reed and the stories of gratitude from those that stay in Reed House or Wishlist House are truly heartwarming.

One guest who stayed at Wishlist House recently called to express her gratitude for the warm bed, the sunny outdoor space and the company during her lengthy stay. She said staying at the house was far better than a hotel due to the company of fellow guests at the end of a long day at the hospital with her husband. The few minutes spent watching her children play on the lawn, in the sun, while she had a cup of tea with a new friend made the days endurable – and she is eternally grateful to everyone who gave her that gift.

Thank you for all you do for Wishlist.  Keep well.

Lisa Rowe – Wishlist CEO.

WISHLIST GIVING DAY RAISES $241,757

The Sunshine Coast community has rallied around Wishlist, helping raise more than $241,757.

Wishlist launched their first ever Wishlist Giving Day on August 20, a 12-hour virtual fundraising appeal to raise funds for Sunshine Coast and Gympie public hospitals.

Each year the Sunshine Coast Health Foundation directs more than $1 million to priority needs of the Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service including vital medical equipment, services to support patients, emergency accommodation, plus funding research and staff scholarships.

This year, due to COVID-19, Wishlist has been forced to cancel the majority of their fundraising events, resulting in a loss of around $750,000 in fundraising revenue, but the need for equipment and service support remains.

Wishlist Giving Day 2020 – the SCUH Paediatric Team dressing up as superheroes.

Wishlist CEO Lisa Rowe said the digital fundraising appeal was unlike any Wishlist had run before.

“With most of our community events cancelled this year, our fundraising team have had to pivot to create this new and exciting fundraising appeal,” she said.

“We initially started with a target of $140,000 which was matched by our very generous corporate matchers including Sunshine Toyota, Exemplar Health, your local Telstra stores, Project Urban and several other amazing local businesses.

“That target was reached just after 12.30pm so we went into a Bonus Round to $230,000.”

Ms Rowe said she was thrilled and overwhelmed by the generosity of the local community, all the volunteers ‘hitting the phones’, and the number of health staff who fundraised through dressing up, raffles and even a late-night run around the hospital.

Darren Venning from Sunshine Toyota hitting the phones.

“The success of Wishlist Giving Day means we can continue our commitments including funding the local Clown Doctors service, yoga and music therapy, plus fund exciting new projects like the Family Room in the Paediatric Critical Care Unit to keep parents close to their critically ill child at the Sunshine Coast University Hospital.

“So thank you to everyone who gave yesterday. On behalf of the staff, patients and our team, we appreciate your support.”

The Sunshine Coast Clown Doctors, funded by Wishlist.

TOP FUNDRAISERS – 2020

  1. Sunshine Toyota – $20,070 (56 donors)
  2. John Williams – $12,815 (33 donors
  3. Ray White Maroochydore – $11,435 (47 donors)
  4. Poole Group – $10,285 (34 donors)
  5. Ausmar Homes – $9,810 (30 donors)
  6. Anaesthetic Dept – $9,550 (61 donors)
  7. Extended Day Surgery Unit – $7,677 (33 donors)
  8. Team Nambour Hospital – $5,030 (40 donors)
  9. Aitken Legal – $4,750 (11 donors)
  10. Coastline BMW – $4,285 (7 donors)
  11. Worrells Solvency & Forensic Accountants – $4,100 (6 donors)
  12. Emergency Dept – SCUH – $3,854 (25 donors)
  13. Wealthmed – $3,726 (24 donors)
  14. Jarrod Bleijie – $2,930 (11 donors)