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Latest appeal to bring a smile and so much more to young patients through Music and Child Life Therapy

The Monash Health Foundation is appealing to the community to support the delivery of Music and Child Life Therapy programs at Monash Children’s Hospital.

The Music and Child Life Therapy programs support patients and families throughout their hospital admission and health journey. Children are helped to adjust to their diagnosis and the hospital environment through familiar song, intrument playing and song writing. Play is used to distract a child from invasive procedures as well as helping them to understand what is happening around them .

The end of financial-year appeal, landing in letter boxes in early May, shares the story of Konrad, born at just 34 weeks with Gastroschisis, a birth defect of the abdominal wall, causing the baby’s bowel to be outside of their body.

“As soon as Konrad was born, he was whisked away from me and taken to surgery. I was a young, first-time, single mum and I felt completely overwhelmed. Everything happened so quickly. The first time I got to see my baby boy, he was intubated and so tiny. A wave of terror washed over me and at the same time, a love I had never felt before.” Mum Shannyn recalls those first moments of her and Konrad’s experiences.

After three surgeries in his first four days of life, Konrad had lost 95% of his small bowel. He had to remain in hospital for a full year so that he could be provided with adequate nutrition to help him develop normally. This was done through a feeding tube which he still requires today.

While in hospital, Konrad received Music and Play Therapy.

“I cannot begin to describe just how valuable these therapies were to us and to so many others like us. I didn’t have any toys or things like play mats or bouncers – I didn’t even know what I needed! The Child Life Therapists helped Konrad and me every step of the way.”

Now at just five years old, Konrad has already undergone ten surgeries, more than ten blood transfusions and his heart has stopped many times.

“Without the Child Life and Music Therapy programs provided by Monash Children’s Hospital, Konrad would be so far behind in his development. He is now in his first year of school and is not only meeting but exceeding his milestones.”

“Each member of these teams at Monash Children’s Hospital have helped shape Konrad into the beautiful, bright and clever little boy that he is today. I am eternally grateful.”

You can support the Music and Child Life Therapy programs at Monash Children’s Hospital and help so many children like Konrad by donating at:
www.monashhealthfoundation.org/2022tax