Curing Homesickness campaign benefits Monash Children’s Hospital

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Patients of Monash Children’s Hospital are set to benefit thanks to a recent campaign at Coles. Over a two-week period Coles customers in Victoria donated $264,350 by purchasing Curing Homesickness cards and buying “Mum’s Sause” branded products.

General Manager of Monash Children’s Hospital Kym Forrest said that the result will enable the purchase of specialist physiotherapy equipment.

“Our sincere thanks to Coles customers and the Coles team for your incredible support. Thanks to these donations the hospital will be able to buy a Caribou standing frame and RT300 paediatric pedals,” Kym said.

“The frame will help children with neurological conditions who have lost mobility to maintain and build muscle bulk, maintain and improve cardiovascular health and also help with their mental health.”

This equipment will help children like Elijah, who are unable to physically stand, weight bear or perform the motions of pedalling a bicycle, to gain the benefits of these motions.

One morning Elijah woke up and complained of a sore leg and arm but nothing too severe. Moments later, as he was settling in for an online class, he fell over, sliding down on the couch.

Initially, his Dad James just thought he was “mucking around” but when he saw the fear in his son’s eyes, he soon realised there was something more serious going on.

“Our entire world turned upside down,” said James. “My partner Mia and I rushed Elijah to the local hospital, where his condition quickly deteriorated. He lost all movement and sensation from the neck down.”

“Elijah was intubated, sedated and stabilised before being transferred to Monash Children’s Hospital.”

Once at Monash Children’s Hospital, he was admitted to the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) and placed on a ventilator to assist his breathing. After undergoing many tests and scans, Elijah was diagnosed as having transverse myelitis – an inflammation of the spinal cord which transmits impulses from the brain to peripheral nerves in the body.

After six weeks in PICU, Elijah has spent another six weeks in the Monash Children’s Hospital Aviary Ward. With daily physiotherapy and occupational therapy, he is now regaining small movements and feeling in his limbs.

Still in hospital, with no certainty of his level of recovery or when he might go home, Elijah is missing all the things he used to enjoy. These include playing basketball with friends at school, riding his bike and playing with Trex, his much-loved King Charles Cavalier Spaniel.

Approved by Ron Fairchild, Director, Monash Health Foundation

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