For Charmaine Bobbermein, volunteering for her local hospital charity was a way to give back, she never thought it could be lifesaving.
In June, Mrs Bobbermein’s husband Don suffered congestive heart failure from fluid building up in his lungs and was rushed to Gympie Hospital.
“He just couldn’t breathe, he had to go to Gympie Hospital by ambulance,” Mrs Bobbermein remembers.
“It was in Emergency that they put him on the Bi-Pap machine and it was really spooky because I saw the plaque on the machine saying it was donated by Wishlist.”
Mrs Bobbermein has been a Wishlist volunteer for over six years helping at Wishlist Coffee House at Gympie Hospital.
It’s just one of countless pieces of equipment Wishlist has purchased thanks to funds raised through Wishlist Coffee House at Gympie.
“I’m always spruiking how great the Coffee House is, and to use this equipment personally was a serendipitous moment. As soon as I saw that I remembered the presentation of that equipment.
“I thought one day we might need that equipment and it certainly made my heart very warm and grateful. It was like good karma.
“I love every moment working at Wishlist Coffee House and what goes around comes around – it literally did this time for me.”
The couple were due to go on a road trip around Australia before Mr Bobbermein, 75, had his heart attack.
“If this had happened on the road it would have been catastrophic,” Mrs Bobbermein said.
The Bobbermein’s have since been to the Sunshine Coast for Mr Bobbermein to receive a pacemaker for his heart, and while there, the couple were able to stay at Wishlist House.
“Staying at the Wishlist House made this latest hospitalisation bearable. I was within easy walking distance from the Private Hospital where Don was being treated, and I spent a lot more time with him rather than driving up and down the highway.
“The afternoon Don received his pacemaker/defibrillator he was in theatre for five hours instead of one because of complications. Had I not been staying at Wishlist House, I would have been driving home at 9:30pm in a very distressed state.
“Instead, I enjoyed a leisurely walk ‘home to Wishlist House’ around Lake Kawana and a restful evening in comfort and luxury. I can’t thank Wishlist enough.”
Wishlist is currently embarking on their latest project Wishlist Centre (Stage One) which has commenced construction opposite the Sunshine Coast University Hospital (SCUH) and is expected to open in mid-2022.
The four-level facility will welcome patients and families from the Gympie and Cooloola region who are undergoing medical treatment, as well as offering other supportive services onsite.
Last month, the not-for-profit charity announced their unique partnership with Bloomhill Cancer Care to provide supportive services for cancer patients within Wishlist Centre directly opposite SCUH.
Wishlist is currently fundraising for an additional $2 million through their ‘Let’s Get 2 It’ appeal to ensure the facility is all it must be for patients and families.
Virtual bricks start at $20 and are tax-deductible.