Precious Ruby has the heart to survive any challenge
LITTLE Ruby Large has the heart to survive any challenge life sends her way.
When Ruby's mum Yvette Gunton found out there was something very wrong with Ruby, she was 20 weeks pregnant.
The unborn infant's heart had not formed as it should have done - there was a giant hole and one of the main arteries was under-developed.
Ruby was born a week earlier than expected and five months later she underwent open heart surgery.
Over the years Ruby has had five major operations, with the last one taking place earlier this year.
"Our last check-up in August showed her heart function is as normal as it can be," Yvette said.
"Her oxygen level is nearly perfect and it is expected she will not have more surgery until she is 15 or 16.
"We are so lucky to have the doctors - without them we would not have her now."
Ruby has spent about four months in total at Queensland Children's Hospital in Brisbane.
She is one of thousands of Queensland and Northern NSW children who benefit from the services of the Children's Hospital Foundation.
These include Juiced TV, where children host the show and interview celebrities; Cuddle Carers; music, pet, bedside play and other therapy programs; and the Book Bunker library.
"No one knows what it is like to be in hospital while your child is a patient there," Yvette said.
"The foundation volunteers were great - they would make her smile and let her know that being in hospital was not always about bad stuff.
The Channel Nine Telethon is the Children's Hospital Foundation's key fundraiser.
As well as supporting patients at QCH, money raised during the telethon pays for vital medical equipment, research and a range of medical services throughout Queensland and Northern NSW.
The foundation hopes to raise more than $12 million when Queenslanders tune into the telethon on the Nine Network on November 17.
Donations can also be made at participating Woolworths, Big W and Bank of Queensland outlets.
The inflight technology saving young lives
IF your child becomes critically ill, there is a chance their life might be saved by technology partially funded by community donations.
The Extra-Corporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) machine is a significant piece of equipment that takes over the function of the heart and lungs while a child's body is fighting an illness or struggling with an injury.
The ECMO at Queensland Children's Hospital has saved the lives of more than 200 children from as far north as Cooktown, west to Mt Isa and south to the Gold Coast.
The Children's Hospital Foundation has commissioned a special portable version of the ECMO - known as a "sled".
Money raised during last year's Channel Nine Telethon helped pay for the first Australian portable unit, one that can go in an aircraft, foundation CEO Rosie Simpson said.
"Close to half the children that come into Queensland Children's Hospital are from regional areas - which is why we fund innovative equipment," she said.
"The ECMO sled is equivalent to an intensive care unit but it is mobile.
"We are bringing all the technology and expertise to the patient."
BY THE NUMBERS
- Queensland Children's Hospital treated about 13,000 inpatients from regional Queensland and northern NSW over the past year.
- The Children's Hospital Foundation provides a range of support services for sick children and young people attending QCH and hospitals across Queensland.
- About $1.7 million of CHF funds has been invested in regional pediatric wards.
- More than 42 per cent of children visiting hospitals in Brisbane come from regional areas and many of these are the most vulnerable and disadvantaged in Queensland.