John Hunter Children’s Hospital joins Coles campaign for first time

Newcastle residents can support families grappling with the heartache of childhood illness throughout September by purchasing a $2 donation card to raise vital funds for John Hunter
Children’s Hospital.

In previous years, the proceeds from the sale of the $2 donation cards at Coles stores across New South Wales have supported the Sydney Children’s’ Hospital, Randwick as well as the Children’s Hospital at Westmead.

Now for the first time, the donations from Newcastle customers will this year go directly to support the John Hunter Children’s Hospital and families in the Hunter New England region.

The funds raised from the sale of each donation card in Newcastle will support the cardiology department at John Hunter Children’s Hospital and go towards the purchase of a new Echocariographic Machine, to be shared between the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and Paediatric Cardiology departments.

Each year, the John Hunter Children’s Hospital conducts over 1,000 paediatric echocardiograms, with cardiologist Dr Jascha Kehrcommending the appeal and the difference it will make to patients in the Hunter New England region.

“With a new echo machine, I will be able to offer state of the art diagnostics both antenatally and during childhood,” Dr Kehr said.

“Echocardiography is the mainstay of cardiology investigations these days, so this appeal is contributing to essential tools of diagnosis.”

Sadly, in Australia, 1 in 100 babies are born with heart defects every year – and some of them can only be properly diagnosed with the help of specialised equipment.

Among the patients at John Hunter Children’s Hospital is 2-year-old Fred (pictured above), currently being treated for Kawasaki disease, which affects the circulatory system. With his initial symptoms including only some of the usual clinical features of the disease such as a high-grade fever, doctors were only able to confirm his diagnosis through additional tests available at John Hunter.

John Hunter Children’s Hospital Executive Director Dr Paul Craven thanked Coles customers in Newcastle for their donations to support the purchase of such important medical equipment.

“We are extremely grateful for the opportunity that Coles is providing us, which will help change the lives of many sick and injured children,” he said.

“All money raised this September will go towards investing in state-of-the-art equipment for the Children’s Hospital that will benefit both the NICU and Paediatric Cardiology departments. It’s campaigns like this and with the support of our local community that enables us to provide worldleading care to our patients.”

Coles NSW General Manager Mark Dubock encouraged local shoppers to support the campaign to help the many families impacted by childhood illness.

“Coles are pleased to have the John Hunter Children’s Hospital on board to raise vital funds this year. After the generous support of our Newcastle shoppers year after year, it is great to have this opportunity to directly benefit the local community,” Mr Dubock said.

“The appeal is an extremely worthy cause that helps children across NSW and is close to our team members’ hearts. After another challenging year for many we encourage the local community to get involved and show their support by purchasing a charity donation card at Coles.”

Since 2000, Coles has raised more than $5.5 million for the Sydney Children’s Hospitals Foundation through raffles and in-store fundraisers. The $2 donation cards are available in all Coles supermarkets across New South Wales until 28 September.

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