Family's incredible gift


A LEGACY of improved health care is the gift from one local family to other Cairns families.
For Joyce Swinton, the gifts she has provided to the local community through the Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation, are her way of paying forward the money her daughter bequeathed her.
"My daughter Linda and her husband Harry Harris had a business in Gordonvale, and before she died she told me she wanted some of the money to go towards improving health in our local region," Mrs Swinton said.
She donated $250,000, which enabled the Foundation to buy an ultrasound simulator and this week she was present for the item's handover. It is believed this piece of equipment is the only one in northern Australia.
The simulator adds to the gift Mrs Swinton already has provided of $150,000 towards the second cardiac catheter laboratory and $150,000 towards the Liz Plummer Cancer Care Centre.
The ultrasound simulator will be used to educate and upgrade the training of hundreds of local doctors in conducting ultrasounds to diagnose trauma, obstetrics, lung and heart conditions. The simulator can "pretend" to be a patient with a particular medical condition – meaning the operator will know what to look for when they ultrasound real patients.
Cairns Hospital staff specialist emergency physician Dr Katrina Starmer said Mrs Swinton's gift was an incredibly generous donation.  
"We are very grateful for this, because it will not only benefit doctors here in Cairns, but it will benefit rural GPs and small hospital doctors. It means the little places and patients from the bush are not left out," Dr Starmer said.
"Simulation-based training is very effective in medical education as it provides an environment for doctors to develop new skills without exposing patients to unnecessary risk. Having such a state-of-the-art piece of equipment as the Vimedix Ultraound Simulator will provide a foundation for improving staff skills and safety for patients and establish the position that the Cairns Hospital is becoming a leader in innovation and education," she said.
Mrs Swinton, whose granddaughter Emma died in her sleep aged 12, and who lost her husband and daughter to cancer, knows first-hand the pain of losing someone special.
"I've had heart treatment as well, that I had to go to Townsville for. It was very important to my daughter and therefore to me, that this money go towards helping local people, so I can rest easy now, knowing that's what I've done. I'm hoping that by telling my story, other people might think of their local health service if they have the ability to make a donation."
Foundation chairman Dr Ken Chapman said Mrs Swinton's donations were incredibly generous and a wonderful example of what could be achieved when the community worked together.
"We are ecstatic today that we can show Mrs Swinton this piece of equipment and she can see and hear the difference it will make to physicians and therefore to patients in our region," Dr Chapman said.

Photo: Mrs Swinton receives a kiss of appreciation from Dr Chapman and Dr Starmer.


Back to all news

All news stories

8/11/2018Winner makes donation
26/10/2018Radio campaign saves lives
18/10/2018Bob's a passionate fundraiser
5/10/2018Patient urges participation
21/09/2018Cyclists share heartfelt passion
20/09/2018Challenge with heart
20/09/2018Leader among men
13/09/2018Alan grateful for cardiac "pit crew"
6/09/2018Scarlett's a fighter
30/08/2018Wayne checks EEG equipment
14/08/2018Kevin is all heart
14/08/2018Saying thanks to workers
14/08/2018Vollies help at fundraiser
1/08/2018Generous donors support patients
1/08/2018Low and slow lamb
24/07/2018Family's incredible gift
19/07/2018Family driven to ride
16/07/2018Help our hospital
26/06/2018New wheels a surprise win
22/06/2018Ride driven by loss
18/06/2018Arrow walkers donate to cause
15/06/2018Motivated fundraisers
14/06/2018Seals soothe patients
13/06/2018Cooper challenges councils
12/06/2018Ride supports rural patients
28/05/2018Team dons sneakers for the day
23/05/2018Donation saves lives
16/05/2018Mareeba gift makes a difference
9/05/2018R'n'R riders saddle up
28/03/2018Good Friday Fundraiser
26/03/2018Arrow event launched
16/03/2018Roses for a Hearty Cause
2/03/2018Lucky escape leads to gift
26/02/2018Beautiful beetroot brownies
26/02/2018Friends dedicated to hospital
26/02/2018Friends groups get together
26/02/2018Funds put to good use
26/02/2018Volunteers get front row seat
21/02/2018Outback ride a family affair
2/02/2018Cardiac goal reached
31/01/2018Many hands make light work
30/01/2018Oh what a feeling!
17/01/2018Family helps other families
17/01/2018Donation a new record
21/12/2017Staff grateful for ventilator
21/12/2017Minister matches funds raised
20/12/2017Fishos leave legacy of health
14/12/2017Rapt about wrapping
6/12/2017Grilled peaches with ricotta
29/11/2017Improving patient outcomes
24/11/2017Marmalade sandwiches ready
24/11/2017Sitting on top of the world
17/11/2017Volunteers put heart into event
13/11/2017New board welcomed
2/11/2017"I was a walking timebomb"
25/10/2017Research assists youth at risk
20/10/2017Students put heart into upcycling
6/10/2017Generous community gives back
4/10/2017Ride brings goal closer
14/09/2017Sea of jerseys floods highways
13/09/2017Cardiac's deadly new cyclists
12/09/2017Moroccan vegetarian tagine
11/09/2017'Plumbing' puts paid to ride
2/09/2017Foreign students tackle Challenge
29/08/2017Father and son lucky to be alive
24/08/2017Lions step in to help
21/08/2017Help build a second cardiac lab
16/08/2017Couple's lasting gifts
14/08/2017What are the odds?
7/08/2017$60,000 raised on motorbike event
3/08/2017Tony's intent on giving back
31/07/2017Thanks for special blankets
27/07/2017Smile helps sick kids
25/07/2017Loss motivates family
18/07/2017Power-ful boost for volunteers
11/07/2017Memory lives on in Mossman
6/07/2017Fix hearts in Far North Queensland
4/07/2017Beef & Pasta Ragout
23/06/2017Booze free for a good cause
7/06/2017Revved up to raise funds
2/06/2017Coffee helps buy equipment
1/06/2017Donation a generous gift
31/05/2017Cardiac 'has spirit of its own'
29/05/2017Campaign makes a difference
18/05/2017Pallet fundraiser saves lives
11/05/2017Pioneering cyclists raise funds
28/04/2017All aboard for charity ride
21/04/2017FNQ ride a great fundraiser
9/04/2017FNQ charity seeks board members
6/04/2017Fridges latest generous donation
5/04/2017Cafes underpin success
5/04/2017Cyclists save many lives
22/03/2017Happy birthday to us!
17/03/2017Jet skiers help cancer patients
8/03/2017ALL things pregnancy and baby
2/03/2017Jamaican jerk chicken
21/02/2017Tribute paid to volunteers
20/02/2017Riding the roads less travelled
13/02/2017Home town treatment now offered
3/02/2017Grandad gives jetski to family