13 May 2021 Featured News

Keeping the wonder alive during COVID-19

Thanks to the support of our donors’ sick kids like Lilly have had a helping hand to get through the extra tough times COVID-19 has caused. 

Lilly was just 10 days old when her medical journey started and was diagnosed with a rare auto-immune disease, epilepsy, severe anxiety, bronchiectasis and parechovirus. Lilly who turned seven this year has spent a lot of time at Queensland Children’s Hospital. 

Last year, during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Lilly had several hospital admissions.  These were extra tough on her and her family with strict restrictions in place and reduced entertainment services available. However, these admissions would have been far worse without your incredible support.   

Lilly was admitted the week prior to the first lockdown for suspected silent pneumonia.  This admission was extremely difficult as Lilly didn’t understand why it was so important not to touch the floor in the common walkways, or why she had to stay in her room.  

“Even with social stories it was very difficult to explain to Lilly what COVID-19 was and why it was so dangerous to her.  She didn’t understand what was going on and with her sensory needs she couldn’t wear a mask.” said Kimberley Lilly’s mum. 

Once the family returned home, Lilly started to experience cold-like symptoms, so she was tested and had to isolate at home.  Kimberley said, “It was so tough, we, like so many families were juggling work, homeschooling, illness, sleep deprivation, and telehealth therapy appointments.”   

In November a multiple admission week was made very difficult for the family due to visitor restrictions, and the increased stress of how sick Lilly was when she became unable to walk.    

Kimberley said “During COVID-19, the Foundation helped Lilly significantly with bedside visits when possible, offering emotional support and wonderful activity packs in the family rooms to keep her occupied.  Lilly was also given a beautiful patchwork quilt during the November admissions as she was bed-bound and this helped her feel comfortable. The Children’s Hospital Foundation also remembered her birthday which was special as the last two birthday celebrations have been scaled down. 

We attended three wonderful COVID-19 safe Foundation events. The Telethon Kids Ball was literally the night before a planned admission and Lilly got to do her favourite things – dress up as a princess and dance (in her seat). She got to meet some real-life princesses. It was magical.    

We were thrilled to be invited to attend Christmas lunch, seeing special friends from afar, and enjoying a wonderful meal. We also attended the Lord Mayors Christmas Carols where Lil stayed up late, danced in the aisles. Seeing Lil so carefree, I cannot express how thankful for these beautiful moments I am after such a rough year.” 

The support the Foundation receives from our community and partners helps make magical moments like these possible.  Creating memories for families to treasure and giving sick kids a reason to smile even when the going gets extra tough.