Hospital ward mural to ease fears
A FUN mural at Lismore Base Hospital should take some of the fear out of treatment for kids going into the Children’s Ward.
It is hoped the undersea-themed mural and the bright fish in the accompanying bubble tube in the treatment room will distract anxious children, making medical staff’s jobs a lot easier.
The mural, unveiled yesterday, was painted in memory of Danielle Channon, a regular patient in the ward. Danielle died in 2007, aged 24. Present at the unveiling were artist Tim Mosely and Kate and Jenny Robson, who with Maya Veit donated their time to paint the room.
Also present were Danielle’s mum, Wendy, Children’s Ward play therapist Marilyn Mosely and paediatrician Dr David Gilmore, who was present when Dani was born in 1983 and continued to treat her for the remainder of her life.
Danielle was born with complex congenital heart problems and was given only a few days to live.
But she defied the specialists and had ‘amazingly good health, considering’, Ms Channon said, until she started to deteriorate at 17. At 21 she went to Sydney for a heart-lung transplant, which gave her another good 18 months. But complications developed and she died a year later.
The painting is theresult of efforts by Dani’s parents, Wendy and Geoff Channon, of Lennox Head, who devoted themselves in the months after her death to organising a fundraising event.
A one-off trivia night at the Ballina RSL Club attracted 400 people and netted $18,000. The Channons have also made donations to the St Vincent’s heart and lung transplant unit in Sydney.
Mrs Channon said the unveiling had been quite difficult because of the emotions it aroused, but she was delighted to contribute something to the hospital that had given so much to her daughter.
The mural would allow children to be more comfortable during treatment, Dr Gilmore said.
“Even the most minor procedures can be terrifying, and this will allow children to be examined and treated more quickly and accurately,” he said.
Ms Mosely said young patients would be able to find famous fish and friends such as Nemo, Dorey, Bart Simpson and Bob the Builder hidden among the coral and reeds.