Kids' campaign gets started with cake

17:00, Aug 08 2014
Countdown Kids Hospital Appeal
KIDS TUCK IN: Jaylen-Blaze Daane, 4, left, and Carter Renata, 3, taste cake at the Countdown Kids Hospital Appeal launch. 

Three-year-old Carter Renata has spent half his life in hospital.

The youngster, born six and a half weeks early, suffers short bowel syndrome and is fed through tubes.

Yesterday, Carter was on hand to cut the cake at the official launch of the Countdown Kids Hospital Appeal.

The appeal helps children like Carter by raising money for much needed medical equipment for 10 children's wards throughout the country, including Invercargill.

Southland Hospital children's ward patients, hospital staff, Southern District Health Board members and Countdown staff gathered at the hospital yesterday to celebrate the start of the campaign.

Carter's mother, Ashleigh McIntosh, said he was flown to Christchurch Hospital for surgery the night he was born to remove his bowel, which was outside his body.

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Since then he has been in and out of hospital and although he has had to endure nearly 25 operations, his smiley, bubbly attitude hasn't been lost.

Staff at Southland Hospital were amazing and had become like a second family, McIntosh said.

The appeal was fantastic and had allowed the hospital to collect vital equipment over the years.

"You don't know where you would be without it all."

The Southern DHB plans to use the funds to buy monitoring equipment, 10 breastfeeding chairs for the maternity unit and transport equipment for children transferring from Lakes Hospital or to Dunedin.

Countdown will work alongside the children's ward to host fundraising activities, including selling cheese rolls and raffles and hosting cake stalls. People can donate at the Countdown checkout, buy a wristband or make a donation on the Countdown website.

The appeal, previously known as the Fresh Future Children's Hospital Appeal, has raised nearly $7 million since it started in 2007.

It runs until October 31. 

The Southland Times