RCH Foundation News : June 2016

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One visit to The Royal Children’s Hospital (RCH) Emergency Department turned into a life-saving journey for 15 year old Julian Gunn.

When Julian’s flu-like symptoms persisted for months, his parents brought him to the RCH for help. Zeroing in on his laboured breathing, an RCH cardiologist performed an ultrasound. The results were clear — Julian had congestive heart failure and a heart transplant was imperative.

To support Julian’s failing heart, doctors implanted him with HeartWare, an innovative Ventricular Assist Device (VAD) that assists the pumping function of the heart. Though HeartWare is successfully used in adults, the RCH is the only hospital in Australia using it on children. Unlike the preceding VAD technology, HeartWare is portable and can be worn over the shoulder like a bag. Instead of being confined to their hospital rooms, patients like Julian can go home, go back to school and enjoy their lives again.

Ongoing investigation confirmed that arrhythmia was causing Julian’s heart failure, requiring months of specialist treatment to correct. Doctors recently gave Julian the wonderful news that his heart would recover and no transplant was necessary. The RCH Cardiology team are now working to remove Julian’s HeartWare device and send him home with a fully-functioning heart.


The support of donors and fundraisers plays a major role in ensuring the RCH can provide the best possible care to patients and their families. Philanthropy is helping us change the future of children’s health, funding life-saving and life-changing initiatives.

Thanks to generous participants in the 2011 Run for the Kids, the RCH now owns a $1.2 million EOS imaging system. A radical improvement on standard x-ray machines, the EOS captures two x-rays simultaneously, from which a 3D image of a patient can be generated. The system uses a unique linear scanning process that eliminates parallax and magnification errors, exposing patients to one tenth of the radiation dose of a standard x-ray.

“The comprehensive images captured by the EOS system reduce the need for additional imaging and are a vital tool for preoperative planning for scoliosis or deformity surgery, and postoperative follow-up and outcome,” said Dr Michael Johnson, Director of RCH Orthopaedics.


No child wants to be in hospital. With your help, we’re getting children like Akeira home, happy and healthy, much sooner.

A vibrant eight-year-old, Akeira has been coming to the RCH for most of her life. Born with only one kidney, hearing loss and facial abnormalities, Akeira was diagnosed with Goldenhar Syndrome. This rare series of birth defects meant that part of her face, including her ears, failed to develop properly.

Over the years Akeira has had many surgeries and countless hospital appointments, and while she has spent much of her young life at the RCH, she actually looks forward to visiting the hospital and her favourite people. Thanks to donations from people like you, Akeira is getting the very best care so she can enjoy as much of her childhood as possible.

If you haven’t donated yet— there’s still time! Click the button below to donate and help children like Akeira.


This July put your roast dinner to good use and join The Big Roast to fundraise for The Royal Children's Hospital Cystic Fibrosis Research Trust. All you need is a cosy venue, a yummy roast dinner, as well as hungry and charitable dinner guests! The idea for The Big Roast came to founder Kirsty Bowness when her four-year-old daughter Grace referred to cystic fibrosis as '65 Roasters'. For more info on The Big Roast, visit their fundraising page.

Fundraise and fun-run around Melbourne to help the hospital! The annual Great Amazing Race will have you deciphering clues and solving puzzles as you (re)discover the city and complete awesome activities to finish the race. To learn more and register, click here.

It's Workplace Giving Month and pre-tax payroll donations are one of the easiest ways to help RCH kids. These pre-tax donations are a smart way for employees to give and deliver the same big impact as a post-tax donation. For more info or help setting up Workplace Giving at your organisation, visit our website.

Want to hold your own event to support the RCH? Be like Libby and dedicate your celebration to supporting the hospital. Libby has been an RCH patient since she was five weeks old, so to “give back to the RCH for the wonderful help that they have given me,” Libby asked for donations to the hospital instead of Bat Mitzvah gifts. She raised over $14,000 to support great care — an amazing feat! To learn more about In Celebration Giving, click here.