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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.