Lions dig deep for Port Pirie hospital

In 2015, a five day old baby was brought to accident and emergency with an unknown congenital heart problem.

Jonathan, who is now a healthy two year old, was very lucky as at the time, the hospital had double staff and extra equipment available to him from other wards.

With adult sized heart and oxygen monitors hooked to his chest and staff having the inability to reduce the oxygen he needed, they recognised that the hospital would require a heart and oxygen monitor for babies, yet did not have the funds to do so. 

The Lions Club of Port Pirie sought out major project opportunities and it was suggested that they fundraise vital funds that the hospital needed. 

Through barbeques, catering, bingo and raffle tickets, the Lions club fundraised over $7,000 and they were able to receive a grant from the Australian Lions Foundation to match what they had already raised, taking their donation to a total of $14,000.

The donated funds were able to provide the hospital with a heart and oxygen monitor, as well as a blender, that enables staff to give the baby the correct amount of oxygen.

Past president, David Haldene says they are always looking for fundraising projects and this one received the most votes. 

“Everything that we do fundraise goes back into the community of Port Pirie to support the region.”

“My daughter-in-law gave birth to six week premature twins here and the blender was used on them. There is a close connection for me and this equipment”, David said. 

The hospital found that previously their equipment was less than adequate and they needed a new machine to provide more accurate readings that were sensitive to a new born.

Approximately 10 per cent of births need to be resuscitated and the equipment that the hospital now has will assist in these unpredictable scenarios. 

“It is very expensive equipment that the hospital can’t fund and we are very grateful for the Lions Club and their donation”, nurse and midwife Trudy Hanlon said.