For the Bunney family, having a snoring teenager at home might have seemed annoying at most, but after being diagnosed with sleep apnoea, they realised the seriousness of the situation.
After several medical appointments, their 15-year-old son, Dace, was told he would need to go under the knife for a tonsillectomy in the hope of combatting sleep apnoea.
“When Dace participated in a sleep study at the Children’s Hospital, we found out he wasn’t breathing properly. Sleep is crucial for Dace’s Asperser’s Syndrome. Without enough sleep, it aggravates all aspects of his daily life,” Dace’s Mum Taria said.
Located 90 minutes north in Glenwood, Sunshine Coast University Hospital was the closest facility where Dace could receive his treatment.
“Dace was very nervous leading into his first ever surgery. One of our other concerns was finding somewhere to stay close to SCUH. Dace’s medical team advised us we would need to be in walking distance in case of any medical complications post-surgery,” she said.
The Glenwoood residents were referred to Wishlist’s accommodation, Wishlist House, by hospital staff where they stayed for two weeks.
“I was so impressed by how tidy and homely Wishlist House was. We certainly wanted to make sure we left the accommodation without a trace.
“It was very important one of us could stay with Dace overnight and being only a short walk to our accommodation made it so easy.
Dace’s surgery was a success and the family made the most of the recovery period spent in Wishlist House.
“Dace was glued to the Xbox, keeping his mind off the pain and killing time until we could go home. The kitchen meant we had somewhere safe to refrigerate our groceries and therefore avoid eating out every meal.
Timing of their last night at Wishlist House couldn’t have been better when a two-week Covid lockdown was announced the following day for South East Queensland.
Wishlist CEO Lisa Rowe said guests like Dace’s family who live outside the 50km radius of Sunshine Coast University Hospital may qualify to stay at the charity’s accommodation facilities – free of charge – if they qualify for the Patient Travel Subsidy Scheme.
“Wishlist House is our closest facility to SCUH which offers a ‘home away from home’ for both rural and remote Queenslanders, as well as Sunshine Coast locals,” Ms Rowe said.
The increasing demand for accommodation has led to the charity receiving a $12 million grant to build Wishlist Centre (Stage One), thanks to Federal Member for Fisher Andrew Wallace.
“Wishlist Centre will be a warm, supportive and stimulating environment with each of the four levels delivering a different service or activity to provide physical, spiritual, emotional and psychological support for patients and their families,” she said.
“Gympie will benefit immensely from all that Wishlist Centre has to offer. Their region records the highest levels of chronic disease compared to the rest of the Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service catchment area.
“We’re on a mission to raise $2 million by 2022 to ensure Wishlist Centre is all it must be for patients and their families enduring a health crisis – so ‘Let’s Get 2 It’.”
Construction is underway with an opening scheduled for mid next year.
The Bunney household is now without the rattling noise of Dace’s snoring and he’s been catching up on a lot of missed sleep.
Dace is eager to return to BMX, mountain biking and footy – and see the world through a lens which sleep apnoea was stealing from him.
For more information on affordable accommodation options or how you can support our ‘#LetsGet2It’ mission, phone 5202 1777 or visit wishlistcentre.org.au