Last year, at just 2 years of age, our son Dmitry was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia. Over the past 12 months, we have been in and out of hospital for countless procedures including chemo, blood transfusions, lumbar punctures, bone marrow aspirates and various surgeries. Unfortunately, Dmitry has suffered two relapses and his only chance of survival now is to have a bone marrow transplant in Sydney, which comes with major risks and possible long-term side effects, but it is our last and only hope. Alex and I are full-time carers for Dmitry and spend as much time with him as possible, as we do not know how successful this future treatment will be.
We have set up this campaign page first and foremost to raise money for the Paediatric Oncology Ward at the John Hunter Children’s Hospital. The doctors, nurses, surgeons, therapists, pharmacists and volunteers work tirelessly every day to help the many brave kids and their families battling cancer and help make their lives on the ward as comfortable and accommodating as possible. However, having spent many months living on the ward, we know that little things can make a huge difference and so we would like to help bring some much-needed comfort to other families in our position.
We are aiming to raise $2,000 for the J1 Paediatric Oncology Ward at John Hunter Children's Hospital, to purchase thermometers and upgrade facilities.
Funds will be used to purchase three temporal non-contact thermometers, costing approximately $350 each, so that nurses can take kids' temperatures non-intrusively. These medical-grade thermometers are waved across the forehead, avoiding the need to wake sleeping babies and children as with under-arm contact thermometers. During cancer treatment, fever is often the first sign of an infection and at times it has been necessary to check body temperature every hour, which can be very distressing, especially for young children. These thermometers will ensure nurses can quickly and accurately check for fever without waking or disturbing these courageous kids.
We would also like to renovate Ward J1's Family Room, used by parents, carers and loved ones of brave children, who often live on the ward for several months at a time. It can make an enormous difference to have a space on site where you can prepare and eat a meal, go online to pay bills, watch the news or just make a cup of tea or coffee. The Family Room is currently old and run down, with inadequate cooking facilities and equipment and we hope to provide it with a fresh coat of paint, new lounge chairs, a sofa, coffee and tea station, dinner and cutlery sets, drinking glasses and mugs, as well as cooking utensils and equipment.
Donations exceeding our goal will go towards installing shower facilities at the John Hunter Children’s Hospital Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) and helping to meet Dmitry’s out-of-pocket medical expenses.
Currently, the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit does not have shower facilities for parents and carers. Showering regularly is an important part of maintaining hygiene around immunocompromised children and the only showers are located at the other end of the hospital, with limited opening times. It can be distressing for parents/carers to be far from their critically ill children and for some, ducking home to shower is not an option.
Dmitry’s out of pocket medical costs include:
• Essential antibiotics, chemo medications and supplements when at home.
• Vital nasal gastric feeds and running equipment.
• Physiotherapy, speech pathology, dietetics, dentistry and occupational therapy.
• Wound dressings, antibacterial toiletries and other sanitary products.
We would love your help to reach our target of $2,000 for Ward J1, something that is very important to us and close to our hearts. Anything additional is a bonus. We appreciate any assistance, whether it be by donating or sharing this campaign. It is our birthday wish and mission to give back to Ward J1, which has been of great support and solace to us.
Thank you for your support, love and wishes during this very challenging time for Dmitry and our family. We will continue to fight for Dmitry and do whatever it takes to make our baby healthy and strong again. His positivity, energy, love of life and friendly nature gives us the courage and strength to persevere and we hope we can share this energy with other families on the ward through this initiative.