16 September 2020 Home page

Holly’s story

The patient entertainment system is one of many pieces of equipment supported by the Woolworths and Children’s Hospital Foundation partnership.

On behalf of thousands of sick kids and their families across the state, the Children’s Hospital Foundation are thanking Woolworths teams and their customers for working hand in hand to raise more than $60 million over 34 years to positively shift health outcomes for Queensland’s sickest kids.

The generosity of Woolworths customers and team members has helped fund ground-breaking medical research, including the development of a rapid diagnostic test for meningococcal, innovative research into childhood nutrition, life-saving medical equipment, and bedside entertainment at Queensland Children’s Hospital (QCH), which helps five-year-old Holly Jackson get through her long stays in hospital.

Holly, of the Gold Coast, was diagnosed with hypoplastic left heart complex – one of the most severe heart conditions a baby can have – when she was 25-weeks in utero, and doctors advised her parents that she would require lifesaving surgery soon after birth.

As soon as Holly was born, she had several scans to assess her condition, and at just two days old, Holly’s heart crashed and she required five minutes of CPR when her tiny heart stopped pumping blood around her body.

She remained in hospital for 125 days while she fought the life-threatening heart condition and underwent two open heart surgeries.

Last year, Holly underwent her third, and following another four weeks in hospital, she was discharged and her mum, Tamara, says she continues to go from strength to strength.

“She still requires regular monitoring, and she will be on medication for the rest of her life, but all in all, she is a happy, loving little girl who believes she can achieve anything. Without all the surgeons, cardiologists, nurses and volunteers, this cheeky little monkey wouldn’t be here living life and enjoying every day.”

During some of the tougher times in hospital, Holly found solace in the bedside patient entertainment system (PES), which was supported by the Children’s Hospital Foundation thanks to the generosity of Woolworths team and customers.

“Having something to distract her when she wasn’t able to leave her hospital bed was quite incredible, and not just for her, but for the whole family,” Tamara said.

“That, teamed with the entertainment and distraction provided by volunteers at her bedside or before surgeries, as well as the amazing Loans Library with so many different toys and games, made sure that Holly could be in hospital and still be smiling, amused, and enjoy the simple things in life that come from just being a kid.”

The PES is just one of the many pieces of equipment that the Woolworths and Children’s Hospital Foundation partnership has supported.

Children’s Hospital Foundation CEO, Rosie Simpson, could not be more grateful for the support that Woolworths teams and their customers have shown, showcasing that famous Queensland community spirit.

“When visiting my local store, I love seeing the Woolworths team’s enthusiasm at collecting donations, and of course, the incredible customers who give so generously and lovingly to help our cause, and for that, I say thank you to the Woolworths community and customers for all your support,” Ms Simpson said.

“Celebrating the incredible milestone of $60m raised gives us a chance for us to say thank you, and formally recognise that we simply couldn’t do what we do for sick children without the generosity of the Woolworths team and their customers.”

Chris Peters, Woolworths General Manager Queensland, said this donation would not have been possible without their amazing community of team members and customers.

“60 million dollars is an absolutely huge sum to have raised, and we’re very proud of the effort that our teams and customers have put in,” Mr Peters said.

“We feel so privileged to have such an incredible base of team members and customers in both Queensland and across the country, who are so willing to help a cause close to all of our hearts, and it’s incredible to see the impact that their determination and empathy has had on hundreds and thousands of sick kids and their families.”


60 million reasons to say thank you, Holly is just one of them.