Imagine being able to pick up the phone at any time of the day or night to speak with a dedicated specialist who is familiar with your child’s needs, and is able to coordinate the specific care and services you need. Thanks to support from the Hickory Group and their Hickory Heroes program, patients with complex gastrointestinal or colorectal conditions will now have immediate access to this type of support through the establishment of the Complex Colorectal Service (CCS) at The Royal Children’s Hospital (RCH).
“Hickory is a family business and anything to do with supporting families is a shared value here. We want to give money where it needs to go, we want to help,” said Sarah Downey, Marketing and Communications Manager at Hickory Group.
Hickory Group has pledged to donate $75,000 per year over the next three years to CCS and the RCH to help support life-changing care and research for children with extremely rare colorectal conditions.
“There is a lot of stigma with colorectal conditions,” said Associate Professor Sebastian King, Colorectal Surgeon. “Backing from a highly respected and established organisation, like Hickory Group, helps families and patients and gives community support in a way that hasn’t been felt before.”
To better understand the impact of the CCS and their support, representatives from Hickory Group were given a special tour of the RCH by A/Professor King.
“I was blown away by the hospital. It’s such a bright space, so different from other hospitals; it’s state of the art, and you can really see the difference support makes,” said Sarah.
During the tour, A/Professor King shared a colorectal patient’s journey, explaining what their hospital stay would look like and all the different medical teams involved in their care.
“It was heartbreaking to see these patients in such a fragile state, but it was privilege to see behind the scenes. It had a real impact on us and we could see just how important a 24 hour nurse and these specialised facilities are,” said Sarah.
For clinicians like A/Professor King, the opportunity to show supporters the impact of their funding is a rare and privileged opportunity. “It was lovely to meet the Hickory staff and show them how important their funding is for the families that will need the CCS,” said A/Professor King. “I find immense pride and pleasure in working at the RCH; the opportunities provided by our supporters means I can do work here that can’t be done anywhere else.”