Press Release – Waikato District Health Board
Smiles adorned the faces of some of Waikatos most ill and injured kids this morning (Wednesday 22 May), as the rugby heroes of the Waikato region spilled into Waikato Hospitals Waikids wards and clinics.Big Chiefs Visit the Little Ill and Injured
Smiles adorned the faces of some of Waikato’s most ill and injured kids this morning (Wednesday 22 May), as the rugby heroes of the Waikato region spilled into Waikato Hospital’s Waikids wards and clinics.
The Chiefs momentarily put training aside for Friday’s big game against the Crusaders and prioritised a visit to five Waikids wards and clinics, showing their support for Waikato DHB’s child and youth health services.
Players, armed with Chiefs flags, posters, and vivids to scrawl signatures, parked themselves on kids’ beds to ask about injuries and subject themselves to interrogation about their upcoming game.
And they were as star-struck as the kids they visited.
“These kids are brave. It’s hard to see because I have kids of my own. You definitely put yourself in the shoes of the parents,” loose forward Ross Filipo said.
“It’s nice to put smiles on the kids’ faces when things aren’t going so well for them.”
Chief operating officer Jan Adams accompanied the Chiefs to the wards and clinics and spoke of the impact their presence had on patients.
“We really appreciate the time and generosity given by the Chiefs today. Their energy has in turn energised the kids and their families. You can see by the look on their faces what a great time this has been for them. We are really appreciative – and go the Chiefs on Friday!” she said.
Wards and clinics visited included Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU); Ward E7 Waikids Surgery; Ward 53 Waikids Medical; Waikids Day Stay and Clinics, and Child Development Centre.
Six-year-old Libby Thomson was one of the lucky Ward E7 Waikids Surgery patients to yarn with the boys; an uplifting experience after a fall from her horse yesterday snapped a bone in her arm, coming right through the skin.
“She had her surgery and couldn’t wait to go home. Then she heard the Chiefs were coming, so she asked to stay! Her and her Dad are big fans,” said Libby’s mother Christine Thomson.
Each Waikids area specialises in paediatric care. Patients today included premature babies, kids with general medical conditions, developmental delays and surgical needs.
And all of those visited today – Waikato DHB staff included – will be rooting for the boys this Friday as they wear a one-off playing jersey branded with the Waikids logo.
Some of the limited edition jerseys will be sold and auctioned off through a variety of channels. To reward fans attending the match, four jerseys will be sold off at the game from the merchandise stand on each side of the stadium in a first in first served basis for $300 each. Three will be auctioned off in the Chiefs hospitality lounges, one will be sold on trade me and one will be donated to Waikids.
Waikids is a name and identity to unite all Waikato District Health Board’s child and youth health services. These services are offered throughout the region at hospitals, clinics, homes and out in the community to look after the health, mental health and disability needs of Waikato kids.
Click here for more photos of the Chiefs’ visit.