Article from 2022/2023 Impact of Giving Annual Report
When Bilal and Melanie’s daughter, Aaliyah, was born with scoliosis, a condition that affects the curvature of the spine, they never thought they’d end up spending months in the Cockatoo Ward at the RCH.
Three weeks before Aaliyah’s third birthday, she fell ill with an infection to a cyst on her spinal cord. She had to undergo months of antibiotic treatment before delicate surgery on her spinal cord could take place. Thankfully, the surgery was a success and despite requiring ongoing care, including annual MRI scans and occupational therapy to improve functioning in her right hand, Aaliyah is now a vivacious and joyful four year old.
“I love how determined and dedicated Aaliyah is. Just hours post surgery she was up and about walking around for as long as her body could take,” Bilal shared.
To give back to the RCH, as a gesture of thanks for the exemplary care Aaliyah received, Bilal and Melanie decided to sponsor two beds on Cockatoo. One is in Aaliyah’s name, the other is in the name of her brother Ayedin.
The funds donated through the Bed Sponsorship Program have been used to support music therapy for patients on Cockatoo, as well as purchasing educational play mats specifically designed for paediatric care. Bilal and Melanie knew that their contribution to the Bed Sponsorship Program would contribute to ensuring the hospital had the resources needed to provide the best care possible.
“I remember meeting many parents who were going through the worst time of their lives, and that was when I knew we wanted to do whatever we could to try and ease the pressure of being at the RCH,” Bilal said.