Bequest supports Burns Unit innovation

When Laurie Davies Junior first learned of his dad’s wish to leave a bequest in his Will to the RCH, he wasn’t the least bit surprised.

“Dad was a really gentle person, he loved kids, and I just knew if he had the money he would do anything he could to help others.”

Laurie Senior planned his Will in 2007, gifting a percentage of his estate for the Burns Unit at the RCH. According to Laurie, it was the 2002 Bali Bombings that was the catalyst for his dad wanting to support children who had suffered burns.

“The Bali Bombings really hit home for Dad and that really opened him up to wanting to support the Burns Unit. It was something he thought would be good to help with,” said Laurie.

The generous bequest will boost the Burns Team’s technological capabilities with the gift of over $115,000 supporting new laser technology, and helping fund a new Academic Burns Surgeon position.

The new laser technology can be used during different stages of wound care and recovery, particularly for children with deep scarring. Director of the RCH Trauma Services and burns surgeon, Associate Professor Warwick Teague says the laser technology enables the Burns Unit to provide a more comprehensive and holistic therapy service to children and their families.

“With this new technology there is an opportunity to use the laser to help heal and treat scarring, whereas you would normally have to consider surgery which is more invasive, or steroid treatment which may not be as effective in some cases,” said Warwick.

“The breadth of offering we will now be able to deliver at the RCH is unique – we have the opportunity to be leaders in burns management.”

The bequest has also helped support an Academic Burns Surgeon position that will be responsible for further developing and expanding the team’s research capabilities, ensuring the service is always offering the most contemporary burns management and is constantly improving. Laurie Junior, along with his son, Scott, and daughter Carlie, presented the cheque to Warwick and the team in late 2019, fulfilling a deathbed request from his dad.

“We were extremely impressed with everything; to be able to see where the money is going and to see that it’s going to help so many kids was humbling,” said Laurie.

“The fact that every patient gets their own space and room in the Burns Unit, and that one parent can stay, we were so impressed with the level of care and the whole hospital – and Dad obviously.”