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If you’re a Sydney mum and have dealt with a critically ill child you may have had experience with the wonderful staff at Westmead Children’s Hospital, well, they always need help so we’ve sought out the best way to support the hospital.

Throughout the month of March you can purchase a Bandage Bear to help raise money for Westmead Children’s Hospital. Each year hundreds of kids are admitted to the hospital and by buying a Bandage Bear it generates essential funds to create a brighter tomorrow for the courageous young patients and families who rely on the Hospital’s care each year. A Bandage Bear helps to give doctors and researchers the tools they need to continue improving treatments and finding cures to childhood illnesses.

“I was only eight when I was admitted to the Children’s Hospital. My spleen was enlarged and hindering my liver from functioning properly.”

At eight years old Melissa, currently 31, recalls being admitted to Westmead Children’s Hospital.  Every night for over a week whenever she sat down to dinner with her family, she would take two bites of her dinner and complain she was full. Melissa’s mother become concerned about her not eating and took her to the family doctor. He examined Melissa’s spleen and found it to be larger than normal. Being concerned about it, he referred Melissa to a liver specialist at Westmead Children’s Hospital. Melissa and her mother headed into the hospital and as it turns out she didn’t go home that day. She was admitted into a room for further tests to be done.

The tests carried on, day in and day out for the next few days. “I remember saying to my mum, please tell the doctors no more blood tests.” All the tests had started to take a toll on Melissa, If it wasn’t for the great facilities, the caring nurses and her mother being allowed to sleep in the hospital with her, things could have been scarier. Melissa said “I remember other kids being in my ward who unfortunately were more worse off than I was. I can still see this little boy who’s liver was not functioning very well at all and his skin had gone yellow. But together we made our time in the hospital memorable by playing with play dough, Nintendo and painting. Anything you could ever imagine that a kid would want, they had it. It’s thanks to fundraising initiatives like the Bandage Bear that contribute to the Children’s Hospital being able to put smiles on kids faces when experiencing dark days”.

Melissa was diagnosed with Autoimmune Chronic Liver Disease which luckily could be treated with medication and monitoring. Twenty-four years on Melissa’s disease no longer requires medication as it has burnt out, meaning it isn’t getting any better but it’s not getting any worse. She will forever be grateful to Westmead Children’s Hospital and the staff who looked after her all those years ago.

Help other kids today to be able to look back at their time in hospital with fond memories not just sad ones, buy a Bandage Bear before March is over.

Main image source: Westmead Children’s Hospital

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