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Wishlist raises $214k for local research

Wishlist CEO Lisa Rowe with Dr Paula Lister and Dr Brad McCall.

Wishlist and the Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service’s Study, Education, Research Trust fund (SERTF) are on a mission to reduce the number of children that lose their lives to sepsis by funding vital research into the deadly condition.

The Sunshine Coast Community knows the story of little Finn Smith—the 13-month-old boy who lost his hands and feet in 2013 to Meningococcal Septicaemia. Or, as it’s more commonly known, Sepsis.

Finn was one of the lucky ones. Sepsis is one of the most common causes of death among Australian children.

On September 13, World Sepsis Day, Finn’s Mum Sarah Coureas spoke to a room of 800 people at Wishlist’s Spring Carnival to raise awareness and money for Sepsis research on the Sunshine Coast.

The event raised a staggering $214,743 – a fundraising record for the Coast’s Hospital Foundation.

Since the event, Wishlist and SERTF have announced their commitment to direct close to $90,000 to important sepsis research. The funding will allow the Sunshine Coast University Hospital’s (SCUH) Paediatric Intensive Care Specialist Dr Paula Lister to conduct two sepsis-related projects that will change the way the common disease is diagnosed and treated.

Executive Director of Medical Services for the Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service, Prof. Deborah Bailey, said Wishlist’s contribution to local research was enormous.

“Wishlist is funding $360,000 worth of research now on the Sunshine Coast across a range of initiatives. But all of them are to improve quality outcomes and a lot of it is to do with Sepsis.

 “This research is about early resuscitation using high end medication to save babies and children with sepsis.

“Sepsis has been with us forever. But we’re getting smarter and we’re introducing new medication and new therapies all the time. So, we’re always learning and improving and getting better results,” said Prof. Bailey.

The vital research will benefit families on the Coast and potentially much further afield.   

“What we expect is that we will have a protocol that can be rolled out to hospitals across Australia, New Zealand and the world, that will improve the outcomes of the sickest patients.

“Our research funding and our research profile wouldn’t exist without the funding that we get through Wishlist and the Hospital’s fund, which Wishlist also supports.”

Eleven other projects have been given the green light as part of a $363,352 commitment to local research.

Other projects include research into the effectiveness of mindfulness-based group interventions for mental health concerns in expectant mothers, continued investment into antimicrobial resistance due to antibiotic over-subscription, a study of emergency department presentations and treatment of falls among the elderly.

Wishlist has directed more than $1.5 million towards local research projects to support the Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service.

As part of its mission, Wishlist recognises the need to support and encourage research activity that contributes to improved healthcare outcomes for the Sunshine Coast and wider community and adds to the body of research knowledge.