House eases bur­den

Pilbara News - - Pilbara News - Cathy O’Leary

■ A new home for re­gional fam­i­lies of se­ri­ously ill chil­dren has been likened to a mini-ho­tel, able to ac­com­mo­date up to 220 peo­ple a night.

The $29 mil­lion Ron­ald McDon­ald House Perth was launched last week.

It has a greatly in­creased ca­pac­ity and pro­vides more com­fort than the old fa­cil­ity.

Af­ter 25 years in Su­bi­aco, the house has been moved to near the Perth Chil­dren’s Hos­pi­tal be­ing built in Ned­lands.

Un­like the pre­vi­ous 18-room fa­cil­ity where con­di­tions were cramped, it has 47 fam­ily rooms and can ac­com­mo­date nearly three times as many fam­i­lies.

It was funded mostly by the State Gov­ern­ment and cor­po­rate do­na­tions from com­pa­nies in­clud­ing BHP Bil­li­ton and Fortes­cue Met­als Group.

House ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Peter King, who took pa­tron Adam Gilchrist through the fa­cil­ity this week, said it would help relieve some of the bur­den on fam­i­lies of se­ri­ously ill chil­dren hav­ing hos­pi­tal treat­ment.

The av­er­age stay was 20 days, but some fam­i­lies who had chil­dren with can­cer and other longer-term med­i­cal con­di­tions could stay six months or more.

“We’ve had one fam­ily who have spent 752 days over a pe­riod of five years stay­ing at the old house,” Mr King said.

“What we’re try­ing to do at the new house is to cre­ate an en­vi­ron­ment that al­lows them to live as fam­i­lies, and not feel like they’re liv­ing on top of one an­other. It even has a gym, so peo­ple can burn off a bit of stress and fill in a bit of time.”

Mr King said the con­struc­tion was fully funded but there would be con­tin­u­ing op­er­at­ing costs.

Pic­ture: Sharon Smith

Pa­tron of Ron­ald McDon­ald House Adam Gilchrist and ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Peter King.

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