Big Walk a chance to say thanks to PMH for care

Lisa and David Balfe with 17-month-old son Conor.
Lisa and David Balfe with 17-month-old son Conor.

HAVING experienced first-hand the incredible work of staff at Princess Margaret Hospital for Children, the Balfe family from High Wycombe will be among the thousands taking on the John Hughes Big Walk fundraising for PMH Foundation next month.

PMH Foundation will join forces with The Rotary Club of Mosman Park for the John Hughes Big Walk at Burswood Park on Sunday November 8.

For the first time, participants are encouraged to “walk for a ward,” and choose one of 12 different areas at Princess Margaret Hospital to direct their fundraising effort.

Lisa and David Balfe and their family and friends will be fundraising for the accident and emergency department after their 17-month-old boy Conor recently spent five weeks at the hospital.

Conor continues to receive outpatient care after contracting a mystery illness.

He was admitted to Swan District Hospital three months ago with what his parents thought could be gastroenteritis, but a day later, he was transferred to PMH with a suspected bowel obstruction.

“We thought we’d spend a couple days there but Conor ended up spending five weeks at PMH,” Mrs Balfe said.

“Doctors have done so many tests and investigations but couldn’t find out what was wrong with Conor, the only conclusion we have come to is that an infection has attacked the nerves in his stomach which is causing daily vomiting,” she said.

“Conor’s gone completely off his food, and hasn’t had a proper meal in three months and is still being tube-fed through his nose, so it’s an ongoing battle for our family as he slowly gets better,” Mrs Balfe said.

“The biggest challenge is that he is attached to his feeding tube 22 hours every day, which really limits his mobility as a little toddler, but he’s dealing with it really well, and every day is easier.”

His family are taking part in the walk to help give back to PMH Foundation as a way of saying ‘thanks’ to the doctors, nurses and volunteers who helped care for Conor.

They would like other families to join in the fundraiser too. To date, they have raised $1000 for PMH Foundation.

For more visit www.bigwalk.com.au.