Article from 2020/2021 Impact of Giving Annual Report
Christopher Carolane has always been a charitable man. It’s part of his faith and profession as a retired Anglican chaplain. But his regular gift to the RCH comes from a very personal place, in thanks for the care his grandson received after he suffered from a debilitating stroke.
Christopher lives by the words ‘it’s better to give than receive’. While working as a school chaplain, Christopher became heavily involved in providing aid to Cambodia, raising funds for food, medical care and education support for those in poverty. This passion led to his own charitable organisation, Australian Collaboration Cambodia to continue this work. However, it wasn’t until his four year old grandson Henri-Felix was critically ill in 2019 that he turned his attention to support a cause much closer to home.
“My own children had only needed the RCH for broken bones, but when my youngest grandson Henri suffered from a stroke, I realised how important it was,” said Christopher.
Henri lost movement in his right side, meaning he couldn’t sit, turn over, walk, eat, or talk, and relied heavily on the expert care of staff at the RCH.
“It was a scary time for him, and also a scary time for our whole family, not knowing if he’d recover,” said Christopher.
After five weeks as an inpatient, Henri was able to go home, and Christopher signed up to be a regular giver as a small way of thanking the hospital.
“Two years on, Henri still requires lots of therapy to help with movement and speech, but he’ll start school next year and he wouldn’t be in this position without the RCH,” said Christopher.
As someone running his own charitable organisation, Christopher understands how small gifts add up to make a difference.
“As retirees, my wife and I give what we can. The hospital works every day, 24/7 to provide the best care to kids like Henri. Having worked in Cambodia, I’ve seen what it’s like to have no medical support,” said Christopher.
“Since I’ve become a regular giver, I’ve learnt that the RCH is the leading hospital for stroke amongst children in Australia. It is great to be giving to an organisation that is benefitting so many children not just in Victoria, but across the country,” said Christopher.
“There is joy in giving. A small gift is better than no gift.”