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'How do I get out of this?'

by JO ABI

I have spent more hours than I care to remember in the emergency room at Westmead Children’s Hospital. With my first child I was there every month it seems. He was three-months-old and caught a cold. He had so much snot in his little nose I was worried he couldn’t breathe! Thankfully they didn’t laugh at me. They patiently cleared his nose, assured me he would be fine and sent me home.

When he was three he caught a gastric bug and they wanted a stool sample. I had to catch it in a jar before it hit the ground (or it would be contaminated) and it took quite a few hours to get it. I was so proud of myself when I did.

The thing about Westmead Children’s Hospital is that it is a community too. Everyone there cares about us. We may have to wait four to six hours if it’s not a big emergency but all us parents bond, our kids play together and the staff keep an eye on us. They are THE BEST and I am thankful I live only twenty minutes away. Away from the emergency room they spend endless committed hours helping children from all over the country. Everyone I speak with who has a child as a patient at Westmead Children’s Hospital uses words like ‘amazing’ and ‘so caring’.

When my sister Marina told me her boss had organized a 24 hour soccer game to raise money for the hospital I was so happy to hear about it and wanted to help promote it.

George Shalala is his name and he has organized the “Kicking Goals for Kids 24 hour soccer marathon”. It’s a VERY LONG soccer game but the aim is to raise $40,000 for Westmead Children’s Hospital (he said $20,000 but he secretly revealed he’d like to raise $40,000 so let’s aim high!).

When asked what had inspired him to organize the event he said, “I was inspired by a very good family friend whose daughter, Gabbi, has had numerous life saving heart operations. She is only 3 years of age.”

Hoping to get out of actually playing soccer at the event I volunteered to try and drum up some publicity so here we are, together, reminiscing about our times at Westmead Children’s Hospital…drinking coffee, holding our sick and sleeping children and feeling better just being there, knowing they are the best and our children are in excellent hands.

Please visit his site. Please ‘like’ it, ‘re-tweet’ it and ‘share’ it with as many people as you can. Make a donation, no matter how small and definitely attend the event with your family because it is going to be such a fun day.

The Kicking Goals for Kids Soccer Marathon is on Friday 7 September from 6pm until Saturday 8 September until 6pm. It is happening at Tyndale Christian School, 58 Douglas Road, Blacktown.

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