Collaboration allows families to breathe a little easier

A STATE of the art piece of equipment that helps children with sleep apnoea to breathe is now available at Shoalhaven Hospital.

The children’s ward was presented with a ResMed S9 CPAP (Constant Positive Airway Pressure) machine valued at $2500 on Tuesday.

Local businesses Air Liquide Healthcare and the Shoalhaven Ex-Servicemen’s Club combined to make the dream of a local mother to have a machine available in the Shoalhaven come true.

Judy Davies of North Nowra knows firsthand the importance of these lifesaving machines.

Her 20-month-old daughter Lilly-Rose suffers from sleep apnoea and relies on a CPAP machine to breathe while sleeping.

When the machine she hired from Westmead Children’s Hospital broke down last December and with no replacement available, she turned to Shoalhaven Hospital for help.

The hospital didn’t have a machine available for hire, which meant the mother and daughter had to be admitted to the children’s ward to monitor and manage the youngster’s condition and have access to supplementary oxygen when needed.

Children’s ward nurse unit manager Colleen Foy knew Pam Jenkins from Air Liquide Healthcare, who came to the family’s aid.

Mrs Jenkins organised a replacement machine so they could at least go home and enjoy Christmas together, rather than having to spend weeks in hospital.

After talking to local support co-ordinator Gillian Lindsey, the seed was sown to try to provide a machine.

Mrs Lindsey and Ms Davies, both members of the Ex-Servicemen’s Club, lobbied the club for support.

The club came on board and with Mrs Jenkins’ contacts in the industry a machine has been made available which can be hired out for patients’ use.

“I know how important these machines are,” Ms Davies said.

“For other parents to now have a machine available is fantastic and I can’t thank everyone enough for their support.”

Ms Foy said it was fantastic to have such a valuable piece of equipment available.

“It will mean children won’t have to be admitted to hospital for treatment if their machines break down,” she said.

“And that is better for them and their families and hopefully will also reduce the length of stay they may have to do.”

And the good news for Lilly-Rose is her condition has now improved and there is no longer the need for her to rely on the lifesaving machine. 

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