Children’s ward donor left dismayed
FIN Heads had hoped he would be handing over a brass plaque to mark his donation to the children’s ward at Dunedin Hospital, but instead he has been left feeling brassed off.
In February, Mr Heads gave $10,000 to the ward in the name of his late wife Shirley and late son Peter.
His only stipulations were that the money be spent on ‘‘something for the children’’ and that he be allowed to make a formal presentation to the hospital on April 28 this year — the 10th anniversary of his wife’s death.
Mrs Heads was working at the hospital when she was killed in a road accident during her lunch hour.
After 20 years’ service at the hospital, she was just weeks away from retirement.
Mr Heads, who worked for the hospital for 33 years, was dismayed at the missed deadline, and lack of communication from the hospital about his gift.
‘‘I want it spent; I want it spent on the kids,’’ he said.
‘‘I can’t present it on the deadline I wanted to, so I’ll have to present it at another time, but I don’t think I could justify recommending people give money to the children’s ward frankly, if that’s the way it’s treated.’’
His last contact with the hospital was a meeting involving him, his daughter and soninlaw, and clinical charge nurse Shirley Bell.
‘‘They started talking about a ‘super cot’ costing $8000, which I didn’t have any problem with,’’ Mr Heads said.
‘‘I said ‘are you still going to make the deadline for me to give it to you on my wife’s anniversary?’ and they said yes, but it came and went.’’
Mr Heads’ soninlaw contacted the hospital and in return received a letter apologising for the delay.
‘‘I was disappointed obviously, and I still haven’t heard a thing,’’ Mr Heads said.
‘‘I know they’re busy and everything . . . but here it is now in June and not a dickybird.
‘‘They may think $10,000 is just an inconsequential sum, but I don’t think that to be the case.’’
Ms Bell said with agreement from Mr Heads his donation was being used to buy a cot for sick babies and toddlers.
‘‘We’ve kept Mr Heads informed of the progress of our efforts to identify and order a suitable cot, and have met with him on several occasions,’’ Ms Bell said.
‘‘We advised him that we would try our best to have a presentation on the 10th anniversary of his wife’s death on 28 April but regrettably we were unable to do this because the cot has not yet arrived.
‘‘We’re sorry if this delay has upset Mr Heads and we are very much looking forward to acknowledging his very generous donation once the cot arrives.’’
Ms Bell said the cot was a piece of equipment much needed by the ward and would be well used.
‘‘We are always extremely grateful for all the kind donations we receive for the Rotary children’s ward and are delighted with Mr Heads’ generous donation in the name of his late wife and son.’’