Footy put in perspective

Salman Waheedy, Allaaeldin Eisawi, James Lennon, Gia Balindan, Levi Bruhn and Rasha Farrall meet some Dockers.Picture: Will Russell        www.communitypix.com.au   d441465
Salman Waheedy, Allaaeldin Eisawi, James Lennon, Gia Balindan, Levi Bruhn and Rasha Farrall meet some Dockers.Picture: Will Russell        www.communitypix.com.au d441465

But one thing they do share is bravery in the face of adversity over the last six months.

They were among eight children given an AJ Diamond Club Annual Bravery Award, an honour created between the Fremantle Dockers and the South Metropolitan Health Service to recognise bravery among children who have endured medical issues throughout the year.

For 16-year-old Hilton resident Ruby, a visit to Fiona Stanley with acute appendicitis took a turn for the worse when her appendix burst.

To make matters even worse, Ruby developed pneumonia after her operation, but staff say they were impressed by how she dealt with her pain and her positivity through periods where she had little relief.

Four-year-old Rashad, from Coogee, has been admitted to Fiona Stanley twice this year, first for an acute bowel condition and then for pneumonia.

Staff say it was necessary for Rashad to have a nasal gastric tube installed, which is difficult even for adults to deal with, but despite his distress Rashad never once tried to pull it out during his week long stay and he quickly became a ward favourite.

Fremantle player Sean Hurley said listening to the children�s stories put a lot into perspective for the players.

�Seeing these kids and how much they�ve gone through, hopefully this brightens their day,� he said.

�You think you have problems on the football field if you don�t hit a pass or are in bad form.

�But those problems are nothing to what these children are going through and the resilience they have shown is unbelievable.�

A spokeswoman for the South Metropolitan Health Service said the awards were a great opportunity to educate people about alternative paediatric services to Princess Margaret Hospital.

�A lot of people don�t know their local hospital in Rockingham, Fiona Stanley and Armadale have great paediatric services,� she said.