22nd June, 2021

Being told his 18th birthday would be spent in a hospital bed was devastating for Gympie teen Tyler Lette-Webb.

Earlier this year Tyler was working on a property in Gympie when he had a horrific tractor incident and was critically injured.

“I feared the very worst when I received the call at work,” Tyler’s mother April Lette said.

Tyler was flown to Sunshine Coast University Hospital (SCUH) and admitted to the Intensive Care Unit.

“Doctors told us Tyler had three lacerations which required two blood transfusions, but the biggest concern was his damaged liver,” Ms Lette said.

“We were advised an injury of this severity would require surgery and at least three months in hospital.”

The ordeal had a momentous impact on Ms Lette and her two other children as she faced several weeks on the Sunshine Coast away from her young family in Gympie.

“Tyler’s father and I had no accommodation arranged and knew it was impossible to drive from Gympie every day,” she recalls.

“A social worker informed me about Wishlist and on Tyler’s second night in ICU I booked into Wishlist House for five nights.

“It was an absolute godsend to have a room to stay in just 10 minutes from hospital. It took all the stress away and gave me a place to rest during those dark moments.

“The Wishlist House volunteers were an incredible group of people and I’m glad I got to meet and enjoy their company, especially when my family were 90 minutes away.”

Ms Lette said the ‘home away from home’ was a huge drawcard for fellow Gympie residents who had to travel to SCUH during a health emergency.

“I’ve been telling all my friends around home how amazing Wishlist is. I hope I won’t need to return in similar circumstances, but it’s reassuring to know Wishlist House will always be there to support my family and others in the region.”

Wishlist CEO Lisa Rowe said the six-bedroom purpose-built house was available for families and carers who need to stay close to a loved one being treated in a Sunshine Coast hospital.

“Our accommodation facilities – Wishlist House and Reed House at Nambour – are increasingly busy with families from Gympie, Kingaroy, Cooloola, Maryborough and surrounds,” Ms Rowe said.

“Wishlist House was made possible by very generous supporters including Ausmar Homes, 92.7 Mix FM’s Give Me 5 appeal and more than 160 local businesses who donated their time and resources to make this project a reality.

“We are now embarking on our latest milestone project – Wishlist Centre – which will provide a circle-of-care for those experiencing a health crisis.

“We are extremely thankful to the Federal Government for a $12 million grant to fund stage one of Wishlist Centre, however more funding is needed for the fit-out. A further $2 million is needed by 2022 to ensure Wishlist Centre is a comfortable and supportive environment for patients receiving ongoing treatment.”

Tyler is now recovering at home in Gympie after spending five weeks in hospital. He is expected to return to SCUH for ongoing scans on this liver every three months.

For more information on Wishlist’s affordable accommodation or Wishlist Centre, visit wishlist.org.au or phone 5202 1777.