Long-time PMH patient Isla looking forward to new Perth Children’s Hospital facilities

Isla Tander has cystic fibrosis and has been coming to PMH regularly since she was three weeks old. Photo: Andrew Ritchie
Isla Tander has cystic fibrosis and has been coming to PMH regularly since she was three weeks old. Photo: Andrew Ritchie

FOR a decade, Isla Tander (10) has been a familiar face along the corridors of Princess Margaret Hospital.

The Piara Waters student was diagnosed at three weeks old with cystic fibrosis, a genetic disorder that affects the respiratory and digestive systems.

She attends the cystic fibrosis clinic at PMH, the only paediatric clinic of its kind in WA, which cares for about 200 children living with the disorder.

Isla said she was looking forward to the new Perth Children’s Hospital opening on June 10, particularly since it would have indoor and outdoor play spaces and a beanbag cinema.

“I have to come to PMH for appointments at the clinic every couple of months,” she said.

“It’s pretty boring sitting down all day waiting for all my appointments because there’s not much to do.”

Like Princess Margaret Hospital’s Megazone, Perth Children’s Hospital has a dedicated play space known as Fun on Four for patients and their families.

It includes facilities and services to cater for all ages and abilities including dedicated toddler and tween spaces, arts/craft area, music area, library, sensory room, movie cinema and a huge outdoor space.

Isla said while the move to PCH would be daunting, not everything will change.

“I have gotten to know all the doctors and nurses at PMH over the years so I am glad they are moving to the new hospital with me,” she said.

Mum Emma Tander said people often didn’t understand the seriousness of the condition.

“Isla looks really well but she needs medication and physiotherapy every day,” she said.

“She has a whole team of specialists looking after her including a designated nurse, doctor, dietician, physio and the whole respiratory department.

“We are really looking forward to the big move particularly given that patients with cystic fibrosis will have their own room so the specialists will come to us rather than us having to move from section to section.”On Sunday, June 10 the doors at Princess Margaret Hospital will close and the emergency department at PCH will open at 7am.

Between 70 to 90 patients will be moved from PMH to PCH on the day.

PCH is a 298-bed hospital with clinical, research and education facilities,

The new emergency department is 88 per cent bigger than PMH with 23 acute care bays, three resuscitation bays, 11 short-stay beds, eight consultation rooms and two treatment rooms.

PCH has capacity for 12 operating theatres – a 50 per cent increase from PMH.

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