Families go on holiday to enjoy some relaxing time together, but the Leese family’s holiday to the Coast turned into nothing short of a nightmare.
The Northern Sydney family of five finished their holiday at the Sunshine Coast University Hospital (SCUH) when their 9-year-old daughter Isabella became unexpectedly sick.
“We were on holidays on the Sunshine Coast when my daughter was admitted to SCUH with severe pneumonia,” Isabella’s mother Sally said.
“It’s stressful enough having a loved one in hospital when you are away from home and not having anywhere to stay just adds to the stress.”
Because their daughter’s illness struck during the busy January school holiday period, the Leese family needed to vacate their resort and find somewhere else to stay – and fast.
“We knew that our holiday accommodation was going to end before Isabella would be discharged from hospital. The peak holiday season made it hard to find more accommodation for our family of 5.”
Fortunately, they found solace at Reed House—Wishlist’s affordable hospital accommodation in Nambour—where Isabella’s dad Mark and siblings Josh, 8, and Sophie, 4, stayed while Sally sat by her daughter’s bedside at SCUH.
Sally said her family was incredibly grateful that their social worker in the children’s ward was able to find them Reed House, as options for accommodation during school holidays are slim or incredibly expensive.
Once their accommodation was organised, the Leese family could focus on their daughter’s recovery rather than worry about where they were going to sleep. And with bears, blankets and colouring books for the kids, Reed House had homely touches that kept the other children feeling comfortable.
The Leese family found Reed House to be exactly what they needed during their difficult six-night stay until their daughter’s health improved enough to travel.
Aside from the house itself, Sally said the support her family received from volunteers, social workers, doctors and nurses alike was nothing short of amazing.
Now, the Leese family are praising the efforts of Wishlist, Ausmar Homes and the Sunshine Coast community to construct The House The Coast Built—another affordable accommodation facility within walking distance to the Sunshine Coast University Hospital.
Sally said being able to walk to SCUH when the hospital home is finished will make even more of a difference to families in situations just like hers.
“This house will provide much needed accommodation for those who are in a time of need,” she said.
“Being close to loved ones when they are unwell is so important for everyone, especially when you are far from home yourself.
“It is an amazing service…and one that we were very appreciative of!”
For more information on how you can help support families during their hour of need, visit www.TheHouseTheCoastBuilt.org