We are aiming to raise $200,000 to transform our Outpatients Department, this will enable up to see 55,000 extra patients in need of our care every year.
A bit about our Outpatients Department.
The Outpatients Department at The Royal Melbourne Hospital is one of the busiest Departments in the Hospital. With over 600 patients a day coming through our Ouptaptients, some with life threatening illnesses, it is in desperate need of transformation.
The planned transformation will open up a further 14 treatment rooms meaning we can see up to 150 more patients every day. Although our Outpatients Department is incredibly efficient with wonderful specialists and staff, the waiting rooms are often cramped and uncomfortable. For our patients with life threatening illnesses, like Rachel (see below), already feeling extremelt tired and unwell we need to do more.
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Rachel was a typically busy young mum. Just before Christmas in 2010 Rachel's husband, Grant, became concerned about her weight loss and lack of energy. He insisted she go to see their local doctor. The following week, Rachel made her first trip to The Royal Melbourne Hospital for tests, spending an hour waiting in the Outpatients Department. She returned to the Outpatients Department for her test results and was given the devastating news that she had cancer - Diffuse large B-Cell Lymphoma (cancer of the white blood cells.) Her world was rocked.
Just days ago this energetic young lady was Christmas shopping for her daughter, Emily. Now she face the prospect of chemotherapy.
Rachel's initial reaction was that of any mother; "I was scared stiff when they told me I had cancer. All I could think about was my daughter, who's going to look after Emily?"
Rachel was to visit our Outpatients Department many times over the next 18 months - one of 600 people to do so every day.
She spent Christmas that year in hospital, away from her family, a terrible thought for any mother.
However, thanks to the world class treatment and care she received from our amazing staff, Rachel will be spending this Christmas at home with her family. You see, Rachel's last set of tests came though all clear. Now she can look forward to watching Emily grow up.
"I will never forget the moment they told me that the cancer was gone. My husband and daughter were with me at the time and it was just an amazing feeling to get that news and to share that moment with them. I am so grateful to the staff at The Royal Melbourne Hospital."
Rachel Bartlett, Royal Melbourne Hospital patient.