Perth Children’s Hospital: Starlight Express room to bring world of fun to patients

Sahara Pittaway, Captain Starlights, Starlight chief executive Louise Baxter, and ambassadors Mike Hussey, Herb Faust and Fremantle Dockers players cutting the cake at the new Starlight Express Room. Picture: Jessica Warriner.
Sahara Pittaway, Captain Starlights, Starlight chief executive Louise Baxter, and ambassadors Mike Hussey, Herb Faust and Fremantle Dockers players cutting the cake at the new Starlight Express Room. Picture: Jessica Warriner.

ALL aboard – the Starlight Express room has arrived at Perth Children’s Hospital (PCH).

The state-of-the-art room was officially opened by eight-year-old Sahara Pittaway from Rockingham, Starlight ambassadors Mike Hussey, Herb Faust and Fremantle Dockers players and some enthusiastic Captain Starlights today.

Sahara had previously been to the Starlight Express room at Princess Margaret Hospital while undergoing months of treatment for a medulloblastoma brain tumour; Captain Starlight would ask about her pets, and share stories and adventures of cats on Planet Starlight.

The eight-year-old said she was looking forward to doing craft in the new room.

Eight-year-old Sahara Pittaway with two Captain Starlights at the Starlight Express room at Perth Children’s Hospital. Picture: Jessica Warriner.

Mum Michelle Bennett said the Starlight Express room gave children a place to feel safe and escape from a world of doctors and medicine, and if they could not get to the room themselves, Captain Starlight would come to them.

“It’s a must; you have to have the distraction, especially for the long-term kids,” Ms Bennett said.

“The Captain Starlights are like aunties and uncles.”

Starlight chief executive Louise Baxter said the organisation, which receives no government funding, began with granting one wish 30 years ago to providing over 500,000 Starlight experiences for young people around the country in 2017.

The Starlight Express Room at PCH has a dedicated arts and crafts zone, gaming facilities, kitchen and sun-filled outdoor area for families; it also features two 3D interactive pin art installations by artist Mehdi Rasulle.

In the evening, it transforms into Livewire, a teens-only space for adolescents to build friendships, feel independent and connect with others who know what they are going through.

To find out more, visit starlight.org.au.