Diagnosed with a Medulloblastoma Brain Tumour when he was five years old after falling ill at his school in HighFields, 2011, Christopher passed away few days after his seventh birthday. However, his legacy is living on through his passionate grandmother, Catherine Iseppi, and the We Care – A Legacy of Christopher Robert Gerahty Inc. charity, where he continues to reside in the hearts and minds of young cancer patients at the Toowoomba Hospital.
“Before he died, Chris made me promise to help little girls and boys like him and I promised I would,” says Catherine. Through donations, We Care raised $2500, enough funds to purchase Acuvein, a handheld vein illumination system that supports medical staff in obtaining intravenous access in patients, for children receiving cancer treatment at the Toowoomba Hospital.
How does the Acuvein device help the children? Andrea Barber, Toowoomba Hospital’s Regional Cancer Centre Nurse Unit Manager explains, “Children primarily have small veins, making it difficult to cannulate. Sometimes this can lead to nursing and medical staff making several attempts at accessing veins, this can be stressful for both parents and staff.”
Andrea continues, “For sick kids in hospital who often have to go through the cannulation process, Acuvein will make a big difference and will be one less thing for them to worry about.”
“We are proud to see the legacy of Christopher live on in our hospital. The Acuvein will significantly help our patients and relieve stress from their loved ones who often have to watch as they endure treatment,”says Alison.
We Care holds regular events and fundraisers to raise money to help children, families and their carers who are affected by terminal illness.
Catherine says, “After we lost Chris, I kept thinking someone has got to do something to help and I thought well that someone would have to be me, because I promised Chris. We want to help as many children as we can who are experiencing illnesses. This is not about me, it’s about the children.”
Toowoomba Hospital's Regional Cancer Centre Nurse Unit Manager Andrea Barber, We Care’s Catherine Iseppi and Regional Cancer Centre Clinical Nurse for Research Liz Ratcliffe with the Acuvein
Liz tests the new piece of equipment out on We Care’s Catherine Iseppi
Banner image: Toowoomba Hospital’s Regional Cancer Centre Clinical Nurse for Research Liz Ratcliffe uses the Acuvein on paediatric cancer patient, Tayte Gill