ENT equipment helps save lives

MySchool Gift of Hearing 12May162---textPieter Twine (MySchool General Manager), Roxy Mitchell from the Children’s Hospital Trust, patient Tyrone Siljeur and Silva Kuschke, Chief Audiologist at the Red Cross Children’s Hospital. (Image: Children’s Hospital Trust)

Children at the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital will now have specialist ear, nose and throat (ENT) equipment with the help of the Woolworths My School programme.

The retailer and hospital celebrated the handover of a R400 000 donation – raised through their 2015 Christmas campaign – to the Children’s Hospital Trust, the fund-raising arm of the hospital in Cape Town.

The Trust will use the gift to purchase specialist ENT equipment. It will enable the hospital to save the lives of children with life-threatening ailments and test the hearing of hundreds of other children.

Much needed gear

A high speed otologic drill is among the first pieces of equipment bought with the funds. This highly specialised piece of surgical equipment will be used on children who suffer from cholesteatoma; a disease of the middle-ear that can lead to death when untreated.

A specialist microscope used for examination and diagnosis to prevent hearing loss will also benefit the hospital’s out patients. This will assist in more accurate and effective diagnoses, and improved procedures, which, in turn, will help the hospital maintain its high standards of paediatric care.

The Christmas campaign

The My School, My Village and My Planet fundraising programmes is one of the biggest in South Africa. It raises essential funds for schools, charities and environmental organisations by encouraging cardholders to swipe their cards at retail partners. In turn, retailers donate a percentage of the purchase value to the beneficiary of the buyer’s choice.

The Woolworths Christmas Giving campaign was supported by international music sensation Pharrell Williams. Woolworths customers donated to the campaign every time they used their linked cards in a store between the 5 November and 25 December 2015.

Louise Driver, CEO of the Children’s Hospital Trust, said: “Woolworths and My School are such valued supporters of the Children’s Hospital Trust and the Red Cross Children’s Hospital.

“As benefactors of their annual Christmas Campaign, the Trust has have been able to purchase much-needed ENT equipment to perform life-changing operations and interventions on children who suffer from severe ear disease, ensuring that they regain or do not lose their ability to hear. We want to thank them for their generous donation, as well as all the customers who swiped their cards while shopping. Every little swipe has made a huge difference in a child’s life.”

Pieter Twine Woolworth’s manager of Loyalty and My School, said: “We are delighted that our customers were part of this successful campaign to give the gift of hearing to South African children in need.

“The funds raised for this was in addition to our normal contributions to customers’ beneficiaries. So, it was an easy way for them, at no extra cost, to participate in the essential, but very expensive upgrade of the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital’s ENT equipment.   The festive season should always be about giving, and it is such a pleasure to help to improve children’s access to specialist medical care.”