Having a child with a compromised immune system is challenging for families at any time. 

But add a global pandemic into the mix and things get even more challenging. 

When a child is at higher risk of contracting COVID-19, their essential visits to hospitals and specialists soon become a stressful experience.

Thanks to the Women’s & Children’s Hospital Foundation and its support of the Home Equipment Centre at the Women’s and Children’s Hospital, this doesn’t have to be the case.

Understanding the added pressure the pandemic was putting on these families, the Foundation has worked hard to ensure patients had the chance to be treated in their homes where they were comfortable, safe and away from the risk of exposure.

At the onset of the pandemic in South Australia, the Women’s & Children’s Hospital Foundation funded specialist medical equipment to assist children with compromised immune systems due to conditions such as cystic fibrosis. This new equipment enabled patients who received monthly intravenous immunoglobulin infusions to be treated at home, effectively reducing unneccessary contact during COVID-19.

Kelly, mother of a cystic fibrosis patient, said having her daughter Emma treated at home had made a significant and positive impact on her family. 

“We’re truly grateful to be able to complete these infusions at home. It means less time in hospital and less time where our family is separated. In times like these, it’s a blessing that we can be together,” she said.

The support of the Women’s and Children’s Hospital Foundation also ensures patients have the right equipment to not only protect them from COVID-19 but also to assist them if they did contract the virus. 

Before the pandemic, receiving equipment by post was only available to rural and regional patients, but now it’s available to all patients and more than 30% of patients now choose this option to avoid visiting the hospital during peak times.  

In December 2019, The Lott donated $50,000 to the Women’s and Children’s Hospital Foundation to contribute to the redevelopment of the Home Equipment Centre. 

This redevelopment will give the centre its own, separate entrance at the hospital. This will reduce the need for families to go through other areas of the hospital, which was a concern for many families.

The Women’s & Children’s Hospital Foundation CEO Jane Scotcher said the need for the Home Equipment Centre had been reinforced during COVID-19.

“We are incredibly proud to be supporting the redevelopment of this vital service and very grateful for the generous support of The Lott to help make this a reality,” she said. 

“Having access to loan or to buy medical equipment through the Home Equipment Centre means patients can go home sooner and live their lives outside the walls of the hospital – our wish for all patients and their families.”

To find out more about the Women’s & Children’s Hospital Foundation and the amazing work it does supporting seriously ill children and families in South Australia, visit their website or check out the video below.