“My wife and I were inspired to support the RCH because our granddaughter Olivia is alive and well thanks to the great work and dedication of the hospital.”
When little Olivia was diagnosed with congenital heart disease in utero, the Lewis’ began their association with the RCH. Phil’s son and daughter-in-law visited from the Gold Coast every month during the pregnancy for follow-up ultrasounds. Six weeks before the due date, they relocated to Melbourne because Olivia would need to be rushed to the RCH just an hour after birth.
Olivia was born with Tetralogy of Fallot, a combination of four heart defects that prevented her blood from getting enough oxygen. At six days old, she had her first open heart surgery. A second followed five weeks later and her major repair was done at six months.
“Everyone from the Cardiology team, the doctors and nurses, were tremendous. We wanted to give back as a way of saying thank you and recognising their great work, so we approached the RCH Foundation to see how we could help.”
The Lewis family generously donated a substantial amount to facilitate the purchase of a portable Ventricular Assist Device, a machine that supports or completely replaces the pumping function of a failing heart. The family has also committed to two more donations over the next two years as a Gold Member of the RCH Foundation Leadership Circle.
In 2016 and 2017, Phil and his family participated in Run for the Kids under the name of Team Olivia, raising over $109,000 for the Good Friday Appeal.
The Lewis family has also committed to two more large donations over the next two years as Gold Members of the RCH Foundation Leadership Circle.
“We feel blessed every day that Olivia will grow up to have a happy, healthy life and we’re thankful to have the ability to give back in this way.”