Radio campaign saves lives


WHEN most of us think of panda’s, we think of cute animals from China with distinctive black and white markings.
When paediatric doctors and nurses think of them, they think of vital, life-saving equipment for those patients most at risk – neonatal babies.
And thanks to the generosity of the FNQ community, more will be available for the 300 (approximately) babies who need them in our region.
The team from Southern Cross Austereo, which owns Triple M in Cairns were pleased to present a cheque for more than $31,000 to the Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation today, as a result of this year’s GM54K campaign.
That brings the total, since 2012, to $270,629 donated by GM54K to the Foundation.
SCA Cairns general sales manager Richard King said it was incredible to meet the clinicians and see what the money goes towards.
"This stuff that the community is fundraising for is actually saving lives, so we love that we can get behind and support that, with the help of our team and our incredible clients," Mr king said.
Cairns Hospital director of paediatrics Dr Neil Archer said he aimed to have the same level of equipment across the hospital for these precious babies – from the emergency department, to theatre where some are born by Caesarian section, to the Special Care Nursery.
The Panda warmers keep baby warm while clinicians and loved ones are cool, has an integrated in-bed scale meaning less disturbance to baby for weighing, and incorporates vital resuscitation equipment for critical babies.
Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation CEO Tony Franz said the GM54K cheque was one of the largest in recent years.
“It just goes to show that when our community knows it can help those most at risk, they really do dig deep,” Mr Franz said.
“In recent years, funds from GM54K have gone towards quilts, lamps and rocking chairs for parent rooms in the special care nursery, parent sofa beds in the children’s ward, and of course the paediatric playground,” he said.
“The community can take heart from the fact that when we receive donations like this – every cent donated goes to its intended cause and stays local, we purchase the equipment directly from the donation and hand it over to the hospital staff, AND because we are a DGR listed charity, donations to us are tax deductible.
“I look forward to continuing our local relationship with SCA and GM54K well into the future.”

Photo: Cairns Hospital children's ward nurse unit manager Natalie, director of paediatrics Dr Neil Archer, Foundation CEO Tony Franz, SCA's Mark Littler and SCA's Richard King.

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