The Women’s & Children’s Hospital Foundation has launched its 2013 Christmas Appeal to raise much-needed funds to help get kids home in time for Christmas, while bringing joy to those forced to stay in hospital.
The Christmas Appeal aims to raise $150,000 to fund vital equipment and upgrades to the hospital environment and facilities to provide children with the very best care.
One child who has battled a series of health complications since birth and spent most of her Christmases in hospital is six-year-old Ella Jakas, the face of the Appeal.
Ella’s mother Emily Jakas said the family had spent countless hours and days at the Women’s and Children’s Hospital due to Ella’s illnesses.
“Ella was diagnosed with cerebral palsy in 2008 after suffering a stroke in utero. Since then she’s faced a long list of illnesses, which we manage every day, among them cystic fibrosis, kidney defects and a rare salt-wasting disease,” Emily said.
“Spending most of her birthdays and Christmases in hospital has been tough on Ella, but thanks to the play therapists and the games and crafts available, we’re usually able to keep her mind off the real reason we’re there. As a parent, it’s comforting to know we have this support – it takes a lot of pressure off us at a very distressing time,” she said.
Women’s & Children’s Hospital Foundation chief executive officer Sam Tolley is calling on the community to get behind the Appeal to help make Christmas a magical time for everyone.
“Sadly, hundreds of South Australian children and their families will spend Christmas Day and the holiday season in hospital. It’s our goal to get as many of these children home as possible for this special time, and for those who can’t, to bring Christmas to them through our programs,” Mr Tolley said.
“Christmas is a time for giving. By supporting our Christmas Appeal, you are helping us to deliver an important gift that will have a lasting impact beyond Christmas and change the lives of thousands of children and their families who rely heavily on the hospital year round. Every little bit counts.”
The Women’s & Children’s Hospital Foundation works to improve the hospital environment, fund research and equipment to support the 250,000 children, babies and women who visit the Women’s and Children’s Hospital each year.
To donate to the Women’s & Children’s Hospital Foundation’s 2013 Christmas Appeal, go to www.wchfoundation.org.au or call 8464 7900.