Yandina-based business, The Mattress Company, has become a major
donor of The House The Coast Built for the second time, signing onto the
project to provide more than $10,000 worth of mattresses for families doing it
The mattresses will be used to furnish the six-bedroom facility in
Birtinya which is currently being built by Wishlist and Ausmar Homes for
families with loved-ones undergoing life-saving treatment at the Sunshine Coast
Operating on the Coast for the more than a decade, Mattress
Company owners Robert and Shelley Boesten said they’re excited to be part of
the major community project, again.
“We have two children and we know we landed softly compared to
many other parents, as we’ve never needed any significant medical support for
them,” Mr Boesten said.
“Of course, like most people though, we have watched friends deal
with all that comes with having a sick or disabled child and it gives you a
greater sense of gratefulness for the hand your own family has been dealt,” he
“Above all, the Sunshine Coast has been very good to us, so it was
an easy decision to come on board and give back to the community that’s
supported us for many years.”
The Mattress Company joins a group of more than 50 local
businesses that have answered the call to construct a much-needed home away
from home for families from the Coast and beyond, who need to stay close to
The donation of mattresses will ensure those staying at the house
can get the rest they need to support their sick loved-ones.
Lisa Rowe, said The Mattress Company are true local heroes whose kind donation
will help thousands of people through a tough time, for many years to come.
“Thanks to generosity of Ausmar Homes and many local businesses, we aim create a haven for families to return to after long and often very stressful days in hospital. The donation of mattresses will give many a good night’s sleep when they need it most,” Ms Rowe said. Wishlist has set up an online shop for anyone who would like to contribute to the project by purchasing a house-hold item for the home. If you can help, visit www.thehousethecoastbuilt.org
It’s a community effort like no other. The House The Coast Built
is relying solely on the generosity of local businesses and families to
construct the 6-bedroom accommodation facility for families with loved-ones
undergoing life-saving treatment at the Sunshine Coast University Hospital.
More than 30 local businesses, big and small, have answered the
call for help, including local plastering company, OzSet.
The Buderim-based business is only 10-strong but were all too
willing to pitch in and help with the local legacy project. They’re donating
their time and resources to do all plasterboard wall and ceiling linings for
the large house in Birtinya.
OzSet Managing Director, Sharon Canavan, felt compelled to help
Wishlist’s plight to build affordable hospital accommodation after attending
the 2018 Wishlist Spring Carnival.
“I attended the Spring Carnival and wanted to help such a
wonderful charity and cause.
“When I was 17, a close family friend’s daughter was hospitalised
with Leukemia in Melbourne. The family were able to stay close by at Ronald
McDonald House and it made a big difference to them,” said Sharon.
The experience stayed with Sharon, who went on to volunteer her
time to help-out at the House where she could.
“I volunteered with children at the Ronald McDonald House and saw
first-hand the amazing impact accommodation close to their ill loved-ones had
Wishlist CEO, Lisa Rowe, said it’s stories like Sharon’s that has
sparked an overwhelming community response to the accommodation project.
“Our primary focus is to keep families together at a time when the
support of loved ones is needed the most, and anyone who has found themselves
in this situation will know how important that is.
“For many families finding affordable accommodation close to the
hospital is very difficult, especially for extended periods of time. Building
The House The Coast Built will create a haven for families to return to after
long and often very stressful days in hospital. The amazing support we’ve seen
from the community reinforces the need for this type of home,” Ms Rowe said.
Wishlist has set up an online shop for anyone who would like to
contribute to the project by purchasing a house-hold item for the house. If you
can help, visit www.thehousethecoastbuilt.org
Despite Easter, Anzac Day and what feels like weeks of rain
we’ve managed a month like no other at Wishlist.
It began with the announcement of a whopping $12million in
federal funding to Wishlist for emergency accommodation to support patients and
their families relying on the services of the Sunshine Coast University
Hospital and beyond.
This project is not simply about providing accommodation. This five-to eight-storey building will be an innovative collaboration between not-for-profit organisations to support the work of the Coast’s local hospital foundation, Wishlist. The facility will offer the following benefits to the Sunshine Coast community:
Provide Wishlist with an additional funding source to sustain the floor of patient/family accommodation and continue to enhance local health services with in-hospital services like Clown Doctors and music, pet and yoga therapy, equipment, staff education and importantly, local research funding
Provide an escape from the clinical environment of a hospital but within 5 minutes walk to a patient’s appointment, or a loved one in hospital
Provide a comfortable and affordable accommodation option for patients and families, close to both hospitals
Provide a one-stop-shop for services that supplement medical care, and offer specialised support to those needing additional physical, psychological, emotional or spiritual
Member for Fisher, Andrew Wallace MP, worked hard to secure this funding for Wishlist and for the Coast community, and we simply can’t thank him enough. This grant funding paves the way for a brighter future for Wishlist, local health services, and the countless families who will benefit from the services offered by this facility.
Thanks also to Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt MP for his vision … and $12million!
I’d also like to extend a very warm welcome to Maroochydore andBuderim BOQ to the Wishlist Partnerships Program. BOQ join a special group of local businesses that support the important work we do. We’re so happy to have them on our team!
The House the Coast Built
The slab is down, spirits are up but the rain has halted the build this month on The House the Coast Built. We’re gearing up again with the many contractors of Ausmar Homes to get the six-bedroom, six-bathroom home finished as soon as possible, and ready for families that need to be close to SCUH.
Our accommodation facility at Nambour celebrated ten years this month. Our team of amazing volunteers keep the doors open for weary guests 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We’re so proud of the work they do and so grateful for their efforts.
Our second annual Wishlist Fun Run raised almost $30,000 and got 450 of our closest friends up early on a Sunday morning! Thanks to all who took part and to Stockland, QSuper and the Wishlist team for making it happen.
What we’ve purchased
$32,000 for a 3D Radiation Therapy Printer – thanks to a grant from the Queensland Community Gambling Benefits Fund.
$5,000 for resources for the hearing impaired at our hospitals – thanks to the Honda Foundation.
$600 for MP3 plays and music resources for the Mental Health Intensive Care Unit
$7229 for Paediatric Critical Care Early Rehabilitation Physiotherapy Equipment
What’s on the horizon
I’ll be there on Sunday 12st May so come and join me, along with some of our beautiful volunteers, for a special Mothers Day afternoon.
Mix FM’s Give Me 5 for Kids
Mix FM’s Give Me 5 for Kids is on again in June. Check out the full calendar of events here which includes the inaugural Ride for Kids at Aura Central thanks to Stockland.
Last year’s record tally of $606,000 was largely possible thanks to a number of $25,000 donors, some of whom attended the recent Red Hot Summer Tour and met John Farnham, thanks to our media partner and major donor 92.7Mix FM.
Finally, at months end we called for photos depicting kindness and compassion, knowing full well that we’d have an abundance of those given the team that we know and love here at the Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service.
The winner of our staff competition (and $150 gift card) is Karen Croker from Maleny Hospital who sent in this heart warming photo of a patient being visited by a member of Maleny Light Horse Troop. We will enter this image in the Queensland Community Foundation’s photo competition for a chance to win another $500 for Karen and $2,000 for Wishlist. Thanks to everyone who contributed beautiful photos.
There are always so many people to thank in our amazing community. This month, I’d like to acknowledge the support of Sunshine Toyota and their commitment to the Hospital’s Extended Midwifery Service.
Thanks to the generosity of Sunshine Toyota, the service now has a new car in the fleet, allowing Sunshine Coast University Hospital’s midwives to visit even more of the Coast’s newest bubs in their homes.
Our platform has grown into an app and we launch on May 28! The launch will see a range of new advertisers and offers and our aim is to have every Health team member signed-up and redeeming offers … saving you money and raising funds for our work through the advertiser dollars. Check it out here but remember, it’s bigger and better from the end of May!
Having somewhere to make a
cup of tea and a home cooked meal can make all the difference for families
doing it tough.
Fortunately, the 30-strong
team at Format Kitchens have stepped up to donate their time and materials to
install an amazing kitchen plus vanities and entertainment units for The House
The Coast Built, helping Wishlist and Ausmar Homes build a home away from home
close to the Sunshine Coast University Hospital for families with critically
ill loved ones.
The Warana-based kitchen
company are not new to Wishlist’s cause, having worked on two previous house
projects as well as The House For Life Project for Brisbane’s Mater Foundation.
The Format Kitchen crew are true local heroes.
General Manager of Format
Kitchens, David Austin, knows all too well the importance of affordable
accommodation for families when a child or loved-one becomes ill.
“Recently close friends of
mine were six months into a 12-month family trip around Australia in a caravan,
when they found out their nine-year-old daughter had a brain tumour.”
“Luckily accommodation was
available and the family are currently staying in Ronald McDonald House in
Perth, while their daughter undergoes treatment,” said Mr Austin.
David’s story is a common
one. Last year alone, 124 children admitted to the Sunshine Coast University
Hospital were from interstate or overseas.
More than 30 other businesses
from across the Coast and their employees have come together to help Wishlist
and Ausmar Homes build The House The Coast Built—a legacy to help thousands of
families through a tough time.
For 10 years Reed House—Wishlist’s affordable accommodation facility
in Nambour—has given more than 16,000 patients and families a place to stay
when they need to be close to hospital.
Today the ‘house’ turns 10, marking a decade of amazing service to its
community. The real heroes however, are the volunteers who give up their time
to ensure everyone who stays at Reed House is made to feel welcome and at
Toowoomba couple, Tony and Judy Brown, have praised the facility and
the kind-hearted volunteers that run it, as they enter their third week at the
In early March, the Brown’s rushed to be with their 57-year-old
daughter, Michelle James, at the sunshine Coast University Hospital, without
any plan or thought about where they were going to stay once they got to her.
“Our son called us to say that Michelle had suffered a stroke
following her surgery. We spent ten minutes throwing a few days’ worth of
clothes in a bag before we were in the car driving to the Sunshine Coast. We
didn’t have time to think about anything except getting to our daughter.
“That was more than three weeks ago. We’ve been at Shelley’s bedside
every day and there is no indication of when we might be able to go home,” said
Tony and Judy spent the first few nights at a hotel near the hospital
but said it was far too expensive for them.
“Our son ended up paying our bill at the hotel but we weren’t sure
where to go from there. Luckily, a social worker at the Hospital told us about
Within hours, Tony and Judy were on their way to Reed House—neither of
them knowing how long they would be there for.
“We were met by the most
caring, lovely people – we immediately felt like we were among family,” said
“The compassion and empathy we were shown on arrival, after what had
been a very stressful few days, was just amazing. We were so grateful and
couldn’t believe these wonderful people were all volunteers!
“They greet you as family. They have so much empathy and are just so
caring. And they know when to ask how things are going and when to let you have
your privacy. They’ve even brought their own book collections in because they
know we love to read,” she said.
The elderly Toowoomba parents agreed that the facility and its
volunteers had been their lifeline.
“Without Reed House, we would not be able to stay close to our
daughter when she needs us most. And being able to wash our clothes and cook
and generally feel at home, has made all the difference.”
The 10th anniversary of Reed House comes just one week
after Member for Fisher
Andrew Wallace announced $12million in funding for Wishlist towards future emergency
hospital accommodation to support the Sunshine Coast University Hospital
Wishlist and Ausmar Homes have also commenced work on The House The
Coast Built—a six-bedroom home near SCUH to help more families stay together
while their loved-ones receive life-saving treatment at the Hospital.
Wishlist CEO, Lisa Rowe, said the need for affordable accommodation
are only going to increase.
“As our health service grows, so too will
the need for affordable accommodation. We’re thrilled to have provided
accommodation to thousands of families and patients through Reed House, and we
look forward to providing more accommodation resources to families from the
Sunshine Coast and beyond.
“Today we celebrate Reed House and the amazing team of
volunteers who make it home for everyone who needs a place to stay close to the
hospital,” said Ms Rowe.
Reed House offers affordable accommodation for patients and their
families, receiving ongoing or emergency treatment at SCUH, Nambour Hospital,
Selengor or Genesis CancerCare.
Patients who live outside a 50km radius of
public specialist medical services may also be eligible for a subsidy to assist
with the costs of travel and accommodation.
night’s accommodation starts at $60 but the Patient Travel Subsidy may mean
both the patient and a loved one stay at the facility, beside Nambour Hospital,
at no cost.
Gympie residents recovering from cancer treatment will now have
access to fast and efficient Lymphoedema screening, with the arrival of Sozo
Bio-Impedance Technology at the Gympie Hospital.
Funded by the Wishlist Coffee House and its committed troop of
local volunteers, the $8000 piece of equipment will support the Hospital’s Lymphoedema
Early Detection Screening Program, reducing the need for patients to
travel to Sunshine Coast.
Physiotherapist, Genevieve Tremblay, says the Sozo will be
invaluable for residents at risk of developing Lymphoedema post cancer
treatment and will be key in improving outcomes for locals suffering with the
“The equipment will provide
locals with a much faster way to screen for Lymphoedema, therefor increasing
the likelihood of early detection.
“Lymphoedema is the build-up of fluid in soft body tissues when the lymph
system is damaged or blocked through surgery and radiotherapy. It
commonly affects the arms and legs – causing swelling, aches and pains, or the
feeling of heaviness – and remains a lifelong functional problem requiring
“With this technology we can detect fluid
accumulation very early, which has shown to reduce the incidence of clinical
“We are very fortunate to have this equipment and
are grateful to Wishlist, and the Wishlist Coffee House volunteers for their work
in making this happen,” said Ms Tremblay.
Wishlist CEO, Lisa Rowe said the equipment is part of the
foundation’s commitment to Gympie Hospital and the community it serves.
“The benefits of this equipment are many and far reaching.
We’re so proud to be able to provide the funding for the Sozo, and other
important initiatives within the Gympie Health Service,” said Ms Rowe.
Already in 2019, Wishlist have allocated more $30,000 to fund blood-glucose monitoring equipment for Gympie children with Type 1 Diabetes, resources for a Gympie-based Child Development Outreach Service and the refurbishment of the Hospital’s Maternity and Paediatric Emergency Ward. “This funding is the result of a tight-knit community working together to support their local health service.
“The volunteers at the Wishlist Coffee House are a dedicated
group of residents giving up their time to raise funds for important health
services and equipment, and have helped to raise more than $370,000 for the
Gympie Hospital in just six years.
“It’s truly amazing,” said Ms Rowe.
Wishlist Coffee House Manager, Richard Ward said he’s incredibly
proud of his team of volunteers and the work they do for the local hospital.
“All funds raised by our work enhance the services at Gympie
Hospital, which potentially benefits every Gympie resident. I know our volunteers love to know they’re
providing vital assets like this to our town.”
Volunteers are always needed so if you’d like to join the team at
the Wishlist Coffee House please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or phone
Wishlist have funded the delivery
of the Sunshine Coast University Hospital’s newest addition. A grand piano.
The piano was donated by the
Queensland Medical Orchestra to bring music to the hospital and its community.
Member of the Orchestra, Michael
Lam, said the “6ft concert grand piano” was part of their service to the
“We know that music is one of those
things that connect people.
“Music also has a really good therapeutic function. Hospitals are a place where people are often stressed, supporting loved ones, getting bad news or celebrating good news—the piano takes away from the ‘clinical’ feel of the hospital and helps people to calm down.
“We also think the piano is a
reminder that the hospital is filled with people helping people. And we might
be doctors and nurses and administrators, but we’re people as well, and we all
connect of over the simple things, like music,” said Mr Lam.
The grand piano is currently on Level
1 of the Hospital and is available to anyone wishing to share their musical
In just a week, there have been
many touching moments when members of staff playing the piano have been joined
by other colleagues and patients—filling the hospital with soothing sounds and
The positive feedback has been
overwhelming with one witness posting on Wishlist’s facebook page that they’d
“never seen anything like this in a hospital before…It was truly beautiful.”
Wishlist CEO, Lisa Rowe, said the
piano was a beautiful addition to the hospital, adding to the foundations
support of music as a therapeutic tool.
“We know only too well the value of
music in lifting the spirit and soothing the soul, through the music therapy program
at Dove Palliative Care, funded by donations.
“Wishlist also funded the Music
Therapy program in the Children’s Ward for many years,” said Ms Rowe.
The piano’s arrival coincides with
a performance by the Australian Doctors Orchestra at the Kawana Community Centre
on May 12—offering some special music therapy for the entire Sunshine Coast.
The Australian Doctors Orchestra (ADO) is a unique national fellowship of medical professionals who are also classically trained musicians.
On 10, 11 and 12 May 2019, up to 100 members of the Australian
Doctor’s Orchestra from around the country will converge on the Sunshine Coast
to share two days of final rehearsals culminating in a performance on Sunday
afternoon at the Lake Kawana Community Centre.
All the proceeds of this concert will be donated to Wishlist.
Tickets can be purchased from www.wishlist.org.au
Imagine you hadn’t long moved your young family from Tasmania to the Sunshine Coast, had recently given birth to your third child, and your eldest daughter was fighting for her life.
This was the reality for Emma Price and her family in
December last year.
“Our 10-year-old daughter Charlotte has a rare condition
called Angelman syndrome, caused by a deletion on the 15th
chromosome that results in lack of speech, global developmental delay, a
seizure disorder that can be difficult to treat, sleep disturbance and
intellectual disability,” Emma said.
“In early December 2018, Charlotte became unwell with what
we thought was a standard cold or virus. But due to her inability to
communicate the severity of her condition or how she was feeling, she ended up
in a critical condition in the Paediatric Critical Care Unit at the Sunshine
Coast University Hospital.
“My husband James and I became very concerned about
Charlotte’s health as she had deteriorated quite rapidly and upon arrival at
the emergency department at SCUH her oxygen saturation levels were
exceptionally low. Charlotte had acute respiratory distress and was placed on a
ventilator in the early hours of Saturday 9th December, and she remained there
for 10 days.
“Throughout that time Charlotte also suffered multiple organ
failure; with her kidneys and liver failing due to her condition and other
“There were many moments during Charlotte’s stay,
particularly in the first few days, that were touch and go. Her condition
worsened and treatment options were limited, and we were not seeing any
“This is the most unwell we had ever seen our daughter, even
after one previous ICU admission and multiple admissions due to seizures. It
was a very harrowing time for our family.”
Making the traumatic experience even harder for the Price
family was the fact that just one week prior to Charlotte’s admission in to
hospital they had welcomed their newborn son Arlo.
“In our minds we were thinking we would welcome one child
into the world and possibly lose another, all within a week,” Emma said.
“We were all tired, exhausted and I was physically
recovering from a c-section just seven days prior.”
Adding to the incredible stress was the distance between the
hospital and the Price’s home in Noosa.
“On a good day with no traffic Noosa is still a 45-minute
drive away from SCUH,” Emma said.
“Charlotte’s condition was so poorly, particularly within
the first week, that we couldn’t bear to be 45 minutes away in case something happened,
and we didn’t make it back to the hospital in time.
“We also needed to be close by to provide consent to doctors
as needed, which did happen during the night on one occasion. With a newborn in
tow, it also wasn’t feasible to be making the 1.5 hour round trip each day to
be at the hospital.
“Luckily my Mum was staying with us at the time due to
arrival of Arlo the week prior, so she could stay at home with our
seven-year-old son Ollie, but James and I ended up checking in to a small hotel room across the road from the hospital so that
we were close.
“We arrived at the hospital at
7.30am most mornings to ensure we were there for the doctors rounds which we
found invaluable for progress updates. Then we wouldn’t leave – reluctantly – until
8pm most nights to be there for nurse handover and find out who was with
“Whilst our ultimate concern was for our daughter and
her health, having to stay away from home in a hotel room with a newborn baby
was incredibly challenging.
“We didn’t have the comforts of home – sterilising bottles,
warming bottles, washing clothes and all the things that come with a newborn –
were all very difficult.
“It was also an expense to our family, right before
Christmas that saw us out of pocket around $2500 between accommodation and
purchasing food supplies in and around the hospital.”
Thanks to the amazing care of the PCCU team, Charlotte is
recovering slowly but well, at home.
The Price family is eternally grateful to the medical staff
that saved their daughter’s life and in an act of appreciation, are supporters
of the 2019 Wishlist The House The Coast Built campaign,
that will see a house built just a few streets away from the Sunshine Coast
University Hospital for the sole purpose of housing family members with sick
loved ones in hospital.
“Having an accommodation option that was readily
available, set up for a family, close to the hospital and at no cost to us
would have been a very welcome option for us,” Emma said.
“Finding and booking accommodation was the last thing we
wanted to think about while our daughter was critically unwell and having a
space that our other son could come and stay with us in so we could be together
as a family would also have been helpful during that time.
“I would like to say a massive shout out and thank you to
everyone who is making The House The Coast Built possible. You
never know when you will be in the position that you require the help that this
house provides – having a place to lay your weary head when you’re waking hours
are consumed by what is happening with your child would be such a welcome
“I wish this was available during Charlotte’s recent
admission to PCCU. Thank you from the bottom of my heart to all involved –
touch wood we’ll never need this help in the future, but in the event we do
it’s a relief knowing this would be available.
“To everyone that’s contributed – simply put yourself into
our situation and you will realise the value of what you are contributing to.”
Four-year-old Angel, from Beerwah, is a regular visitor to
the Sunshine Coast University Hospital Children’s ward. In 2018, she was
admitted more than 15 times.
She was born blind, autistic and suffers ongoing bowel
issues. But it doesn’t stop her smiling.
The happy little girl was admitted to the Children’s
Intensive Care Unit late last year, leaving her Grandmother, Anna, worried and
unable to return to their home in Beerwah.
“I would never go too far from the Hospital, so returning
home to sleep while Angel was in the ICU was not an option.
“When I left for the hospital, this time, I packed a pillow
and blanket and planned to sleep in my car in the hospital car park. That way,
I’d only be a few minutes away from Angel.
“The Unit Manager asked what my plans were for the night. I
told her I was going to sleep in my car. She said no.
Instead, Anna was shown to the Parents Retreat on the
Children’s Ward – an apartment-style area within the ward that allows families
to get some sleep in a comfortable space.
“The Parents Retreat was a godsend. It has a kitchenette,
comfortable double beds, lounge area, television and a laundry. Proper sleep
and clean clothes can make a huge difference during a tough time,” said Anna.
Fortunately, Anna accepted the offer of a night in the Parents
“I got a call very late at night that Angel had woken and
was distressed. Thanks to the accommodation facility, I was just a few minutes
away and could help her very quickly,” Anna said.
Wishlist funded the fit out of two Parents’ Retreats located
in the neonatal and children’s wards, thanks to funds raised at the 2015
Wishlist Spring Carnival.
Last year, the Spring Carnival raised funds to help build
The House The Coast Built – an affordable accommodation facility within walking
distance to the Sunshine Coast University Hospital for families with loved-ones
Wishlist CEO, Lisa Rowe, said Anna and Angel’s story is a
“These rooms provide the most ideal environment for
families to relax and retreat from the clinical environment of the children’s
ward while still being in close to their bed-bound child. However, we know that
there is need for more accommodation like this.
“Construction on the house began 5 February thanks to the
generous Sunshine Coast community.
“As well as money raised from the 2018 92.7 MIXFM’s Give Me
5 For Kids campaign and the Wishlist Spring Carnival, we’ve had more than 30
local businesses’ put their hand up to donate time and services to help Ausmar
Homes build a home away from home for families doing it tough.
“Once complete, the home will feature six bedroom and
bathroom and be designed to accommodate as many families as possible.
“Our goal is to keep families, like Anna and Angel, together
at a time when family love and support is needed most,” Ms Rowe Said.
In the first 12 months of opening, the Sunshine Coast
University Hospital treated 1089 paediatric patients who lived more than 50km
from the hospital.
Another 340 mums who lived outside our region were
transported to our state-of-the-art maternity unit to deliver their babies –
In 2018, the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit alone treated
over 40 children from outside the Sunshine Coast region, many from Central
Queensland. Another 42 were treated from area around Gympie, Noosa and Melany.
To help, head to thehousethecoastbuilt.org and purchase a house-hold item for the home, or visit https://www.giving.wishlist.org.au/donate and select “The Hose The Coast Built” from the drop-down menu.