First child in new ward

18:08, Jan 29 2013
Nigel, Jacqui and Jemima Hunter
IN CARE: Parents Jacqui and Nigel Hunter visit their daughter Jemima at the newly refurbished ward E7 Waikids Surgery.

A New Plymouth girl became the first child to move into a brand new children's surgical ward at Waikato Hospital.

Jemima Hunter, 9, suffered an injury to her hand when she fell from a rope swing at her home in Welbourn.

Her father, Nigel Hunter, said it was a race against time to reach the surgeons at Waikato Hospital and he was thankful for the Taranaki Community Rescue Helicopter.

"They were astonishing," he said.

He praised the rescue helicopter team and the surgeons at Waikato Hospital for their role in helping save his daughter's hand.

"It was an evening that started with disaster and ended with a string of little miracles."

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Jemima was shifted from Ward 26 in the Smith Building to the freshly refurbished Ward E7 in Elizabeth Rothwell Building - a move that marked the beginning of many Waikato child and youth services relocating closer together in one building.

The Waikids Surgery ward features bigger patient rooms with ensuites, tilt-away beds, remote control televisions, a kitchenette between oncology rooms and bright animal pictures on the ward walls to give the ward a "kiwiana feel".

The observation unit and oncology rooms are also air-conditioned to enhance comfort for patients.

Jemima spoke highly of the "kind doctors and nurses" at Waikato Hospital.

"I talked to the surgeons and they helped me a lot," Jemima said.

Jemima's mother, Jacqui, said the care they had received at the ward had been second to none.

"We've been absolutely amazed.

"The staff have been attentive and patient, even amidst the business of the move."

Hunter said the accident had reinforced his support of the rescue helicopter.

"The number of lives that helicopter has changed. I want to do everything I can to keep it."

He said they hoped Jemima would be discharged today if all went well.

Taranaki Daily News