Hayley’s story

Hayley was 11 years old when she went into a comatose state – her family not knowing what was wrong with their little girl.

Within hours, Hayley was being flown from the regional Bundaberg Hospital to Brisbane’s children’s hospital along with her dad Degan. Her mum, Juliette, and older sister Brittney made the four-hour drive, still unsure what was happening to their daughter and sister.

“When we arrived at the children’s hospital, they took us to the Intensive Care Unit, and by this time she was in a bad way. It was touch and go,” Juliette said.

“We had many video calls back and forth between specialist doctors – here and all over Australia – as they worked hard to keep her body working.

“Four blood transfusions and many tests later they slowly got her body working again.”

Hayley was only 11 years old and weighed 25kgs. Her liver, kidneys, lungs, gut, spleen and thyroid had all but given up working.

After specialist doctors performed blood transfusions, a bone marrow biopsy, scans and various tests, they diagnosed Hayley as a Type 1 diabetic with hyperthyroidism, and high blood pressure. Hayley has since been diagnosed as celiac and is lactose-intolerant.

Hayley spent weeks in hospital, with her family by her side.

While doctors had to teach Hayley’s organs how to work again, her family began researching Hayley’s conditions and adjusting to a new diet and lifestyle.

Hayley has to test herself four-to-six times a day, especially with every meal and visits the Queensland Children’s Hospital at least twice a month.

“We still spend one day a month with the specialist team at Lady Cilento in order to keep Hayley’s body functioning correctly,” Juliette said.

“The specialist care we receive is worth all the gold in the world. As technology improves, so does the help.”

Hayley said the care she had received over the years in hospital had encouraged her to pursue a career and lifetime journey in nursing. She said she wanted to give other children what has been given to her – “The opportunity to live a long and healthy life”.

Hayley is one of 19 ambassadors for the Woolworths Regional Wall Tokens campaign.

By purchasing a $2 wall token from now until the end of September, you are helping fund equipment and programs in your local hospital, which help families like Hayley’s through an emotional, stressful, and at times uncertain journey.

Woolworths Regional Wall Tokens is an opportunity to highlight some of the brave kids throughout Queensland and northern New South Wales, who you can help by purchasing a wall token.

Other ways you can help

Everything we do for sick and injured kids is made possible by the generosity and support of our donors, partners and the community.