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About HBF

Young courage to be recognised tomorrow at 2011 HBF Bravery Awards

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The Fremantle Dockers, the South Metropolitan Area Health Service (SMAHS) and leading health insurer HBF will proudly recognise 12 courageous young people and their families at the 17th annual HBF Bravery Awards on Friday 27 May.

This annual awards ceremony is held in admiration of the amazing strength, determination and courage of the special young people who, for one reason or another, pass through the wards of hospitals within the SMAHS.

Fremantle first year players Tendai Mzungu, Jayden Pitt, Peter Faulks, Gavin Roberts and Josh Mellington will join mature-age recruit Nick Lower to share the courageous stories of each of this year’s recipients.

Fremantle’s Player Development Co-Ordinator Liam Casson will MC the event.

He said Freo’s first year players have all been moved by the stories of the award recipients.

“The players think every one of these 12 brave children and young adults are truly remarkable. All the boys are really looking forward to meeting them in person and presenting their stories,” Casson said.

One of the stories is that of the incredible bravery and resilience of 8-year-old Phebe Innes. Phebe has a medical condition affecting her blood which leaves her unable to go into direct sunlight without developing skin blisters.

Jayden Pitt will tell Phebe’s story and speak of the extremely challenging times she has faced growing up.

“Phebe’s story, like the other 11 award recipients and many other brave battlers who have been through tough times, is an inspiration for all of our young players,” Casson said.

“It really puts things into perspective for them to see what some of these kids have had to go through just to be here today.”

HBF Managing Director Rob Bransby said the awards were an obvious fit with HBF’s vision to improve the health and wellbeing of the Western Australian community.

“Our focus is on health and no-one understands how important your health is more than these brave young people and their families,” he said.

“They face health challenges on a daily basis, the likes of which most of us couldn’t even imagine.

“The most inspirational part is the way they face these obstacles, with courage and positivity beyond their years.”

This year’s 12 recipients are from Hospitals across the SMAHS, including Fremantle Hospital, Rockingham General Hospital, Royal Perth Hospital and Armadale Kelmscott Memorial Hospital.

Media are invited to attend the presentation ceremony from 10.45am and all award recipients will be available for photo and interview opportunities at the conclusion of the presentation at approximately 11:45am. A player will also be available for interview at approximately 12.00pm.

What: 2011 HBF Bravery Awards
When: Friday 27 May
Time: 11.00am – 12.00pm *media asked to arrive and set-up by 10.45am
Where: Phillips Conference Suite, Fremantle Oval, Parry Street, Fremantle
Who: A player will be available for interview at approx. 12.00pm

This year’s Bravery Award winners are:

AMANDA CHONG, 17, BULLCREEK
Amanda was only weeks away from sitting her year 12 TEE exams when she developed severe stomach pains.

After visiting her local GP, Amanda was sent straight to hospital after she revealed that she had been in constant pain for two days.

And it was at the Fremantle Hospital Emergency Department where doctors discovered she had a burst appendix.

Amanda underwent surgery to remove her appendix the next morning, but a few unforeseen complications meant a month in hospital recovering.

During her stay she had to endure additional operations and painful wound dressings. She had antibiotics through a drip and also needed medicine for her pain and constant nausea.

Hospital nursing staff said that, even though Amanda felt dreadful for most of her stay, she always remained cheerful and gracious.

CLAY BILTON, 17, BOUVARD
Clay has frequented hospital of late because his lungs keep letting him down.

He’s just recovered from his fourth hospitalisation in as many months to treat another collapsed lung that’s proving difficult to completely heal.

Earlier this year was a particularly uncomfortable time for Clay after doctors decided surgery was needed to prevent his lung from collapsing again.

It was on this hospital stay that Clay had a small part of his left upper lung removed and the lining treated.

He was on the children’s ward for nine days having had two chest drains, a morphine infusion and lots of chest physio.

The medical staff said that he coped particularly well, despite undergoing a very painful procedure.

ETHAN JACKSON, 11, WILUNA
Ethan lives in the desert community of Wiluna, where he’s spent many hours playing football and riding motorbikes.

No-one was too worried when he got a small burn on his stomach after spilling a coffee he made for his mum, Tina.

The following week Ethan and his family were playing on water slides at a Perth fun park during their summer holiday, where it’s thought that tyre tubes used on the slides aggravated his burn, because his mum noticed a few small blisters the next day.

When she took a closer look she discovered that the wound was extremely infected underneath.

By the time he arrived at Armadale Kelmscott Memorial Hospital a short time later, Ethan was very unwell and had to undergo emergency surgery to drain a large abscess from his stomach.

The next few days were very painful as Ethan bravely endured regular internal dressing changes, which stretched from one side of his hip to the other.

JAMIE LEE, 5, EAST FREMANTLE
Five-year-old Jamie Lee’s medical journey began at 15-days old when his parents found him blue and grey and not breathing in his bassinet.

At 14-months-old Jamie was diagnosed with anaphylaxis, which means he has life threatening food allergies to all dairy products, eggs, peanuts, nuts and garlic.

At three he was diagnosed with asthma and in August 2009, Jamie and his brother Shannon were both admitted to Fremantle Hospital with a respiratory virus.

Two days later and while they were both still in hospital, Jamie's sister Mackenzie was born.

Five hours after her birth Jamie was transferred by a siren-blaring ambulance to PMH and admitted to ICU. The virus had induced a severe asthmatic episode and he was in hospital for 14 days on this occasion.

Jamie's most recent stay in Fremantle Hospital was another viral-induced asthma episode and his stay was four days.

JESSIE YOUNG, 17, DIANELLA
Jessie Young was enjoying life as a normal 17-year-old boy, which included working hard to complete his carpentry and joinery apprenticeship.

Late last year a persistent cough got worse, so Jessie visited a doctor and initially began treatment for bronchitis - until he noticed a lump on his neck.

Within a few weeks Jessie was diagnosed with lymphoma, which is a form of cancer.

Doctors discovered the cause of his breathing problems was a football-sized tumour in his chest, which was so large that he wasn’t even allowed to lay down in bed until he started treatment.

Jessie began chemotherapy immediately, which included receiving incredibly painful injections directly into his spine.

After six weeks in hospital Jessie was discharged to the home treatment program, where nurses from Royal Perth Hospital visited him every few days to give injections or check on his health.

Jessie has been incredibly strong since his diagnosis and hasn’t once complained about how unfair his situation is - he just wants to go back to work.

KAYLA BROXTON, 12, HAMILTON HILL
Kayla has been admitted to hospital on many occasions since she was diagnosed two-years ago with a condition that affects her kidneys, called Nephrotic Syndrome.

What this means is that Kayla’s stomach, legs and arms can swell up suddenly if she isn’t careful about what she eats and drinks.

That usually means another trip to the family doctor and, more often than not, a few days in Fremantle Hospital’s Children’s Ward for rest and medication to reduce the swelling.

Despite all this, Kayla’s mum, Marie said her daughter keeps her chin up and her family on their toes.

KAYSHA GOULD, 2, WARNBRO
Kaysha is lucky to be alive after contracting meningococcal sepsis, a deadly blood infection, late last year. She had been holidaying with her grandmother in Narrogin when she developed a fever and a rash.

Following a four-hour drive home, parents Daniel and Shauna rushed Kaysha to Rockingham General Hospital’s emergency department after a gut instinct told them there was something seriously wrong.

That decision that saved Kaysha’s life. In hospital, she was immediately treated with antibiotics.

Her father Daniel said she was well behaved and didn’t complain, despite being very unwell and having a drip in her arm for the entire five day stay.

PHEBE INNES, 8, HALLS HEAD
Phebe has a medical condition affecting her blood which means she is unable to go into direct sunlight without developing skin blisters and has to avoid certain medications.

Her condition is a type of porphyrria and can cause severe pain during a flare-up.

Her most recent hospital visit included a three day stay at Fremantle Hospital and then another few days at PMH.

Mum Michelle said that Phebe has missed a fair bit of school, but she’s back on track and keen to join her year 3 Glencoe Primary classmates every day.

SAM HICKS, 5, EAST FREMANTLE
Sam has been a frequent patient of both Fremantle Hospital and PMH since 2007.

He has severe asthma and quite often has attacks which land him in the emergency department.

Sam expects to stay in hospital for up to three days at a time if he has a serious attack. His parents Jason and Carla said that they’ve lost count of how many visits to the hospital there has been.

WILL MORTON, 7, SPEARWOOD
Will had his eardrum perforated after an accident at home, and was admitted to the Children’s Ward at Fremantle Hospital with pain, dizziness, nausea and hearing loss.

He ended up having surgery on his ear to repair the damage, but unfortunately doctors couldn’t save his hearing in the damaged ear.

The good news is that Will has been fitted with a hearing aide which has made things a lot better for him.

His mother Bronwyn said that he actually coped better than the rest of the family during the trauma of the accident and subsequent surgery.

Will is now back at school and planning to return to his local cricket team next summer.

NINA JEPS-TITE, 12, KELMSCOTT
Most adults would struggle to cope with the number of operations Nina has had to help correct her left leg problems.

As a result, she has had pins, nails, wires, splints, frames and plasters inserted or fitted over the years.

Thankfully the pain and the operations have been quite successful and now Nina can stand and walk around more easily.

Nina’s parents Dave and Heather said the whole family has been inspired by Nina’s brave attitude and the way she has coped with pain and being in hospital.

TEX COCKIE, 5, LEDA
Tex Cockie spent a long week in Rockingham General Hospital earlier this year with a severe kidney infection.

At just five years of age, it was quite a big deal to Tex and his family to get through this difficult period.

His week-long stay included a constant stream of IV antibiotics, several blood tests and blood pressure checks, medication to control his dangerously high blood pressure and a renal ultrasound.

The nursing staff described Tex as a lovely, cheeky little boy who was very brave despite all the nasty things they did to him.

Being the baby in the family, his two older brothers and sister are equally proud of the way Tex dealt with his illness.

Tex has returned to Leda Primary School and is getting on with life as a normal, healthy, and cheeky five-year-old.


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