ECMO appeal

For patients experiencing heart or lung failure ECMO saves lives

Lee-anne and her sisters sat in a hospital waiting room while doctors worked next door for hours, trying to revive their mother, Patricia. Doctors tried desperately to bring her back to life on four separate occasions.

The last time took more than an hour. Every rib in her body broken in the process.

Will you please give by 31 December, so we can purchase a new ECMO machine in the New Year and help save lives?

 


 

Patricia's story

Patricia had suffered a pulmonary embolism (a blood clot in her lung).

It all started in her local Foodland when she was with her daughter, Lee-anne.

“We were walking around, and I said to my daughter ‘I don’t feel well. Here, hold this’,” recalls Patricia.

“I went over to the freezer and leant on it, and then I could hear Lee-anne screaming ‘Mum!’.”

The memory is still difficult for Lee-anne to talk about.

“She leant on the freezer and I just remember her falling to the ground and I was just screaming…,” Lee-anne says. “I thought she was gone.”

Will you please donate by 31 December, so we can purchase a new ECMO machine in the New Year and help save lives?

Patricia’s daughters were told their mother would probably die. They phoned their relatives and prepared Patricia’s grandchildren for the worst.

If it weren’t for the amazing doctors at Flinders Medical Centre, Patricia wouldn’t have survived. This was all thanks to one vital piece of medical equipment. An Extra Corporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) machine.

But this machine is now outdated and needs to be replaced.

The Volunteer Service for Flinders Medical Centre have generously offered to match, dollar-for-dollar, any donations received up to $80,000. This means your gift would have DOUBLE THE IMPACT!

Just like Patricia and her daughters, I know you are grateful for the amazing staff at Flinders Medical Centre. They provide such wonderful care for our community.

Knowing you’re here to help people like Patricia warms my heart.  

Will you save the life of someone like Patricia by giving a gift today?

Patricia’s daughters recount the story of how doctors told them their mother would probably die.

“I remember the doctor coming out and he said, ‘we need to tell you that she is not well at all, she is a very sick lady’,”Lee-anne said.

“And then he went on to say, ‘we don’t think she is going to make it’.”

But the doctors didn’t give up. They wanted to try just one more thing – the ECMO machine.

Patricia’s daughters were told their mother would probably die. They phoned their relatives and prepared Patricia’s grandchildren for the worst.

“She leant on the freezer and I just remember her falling to the ground and I was just screaming…, I thought she was gone.”

Patricia's family


A last resort.

“We wondered what the use was, but the doctor said he wasn’t ready to give up, because there was a chance she might survive,” Lee-anne said.

Patricia is just one of many who arrive at Flinders each year with chronic heart or lung failure.

Many of these people need ECMO – one of the most extreme life support techniques there is.

The machine acts as an “artificial lung” of sorts. It pumps a patient’s blood outside the body through tubing to the machine. This adds oxygen and takes out carbon dioxide. Then it returns the blood to the patient’s body.

Essentially, ECMO allows the heart and lungs to rest and recover while blood and oxygen continue flowing to the brain.

For many people like Patricia, ECMO is the last chance.

Dr Bersten, Head of the Flinders Medical Centre Intensive Care Unit, says Patricia wouldn’t be alive today if it weren’t for the ECMO machine. It’s truly lifesaving.

“If someone were to arrive in cardiac arrest inside of 60 minutes, and we can get them on ECMO quick enough, then there’s a greater chance of survival…previously they would have died,” Dr Bersten tells me.

“In extreme times, we can also use ECMO to buy some time to work out what’s going on and how to fix it.”

“Buying time” - can you put a price on that?

But the hospital’s current ECMO machine has been superseded by more advanced technology.

Flinders Medical Centre urgently needs a new ECMO machine to help save more lives.

A very generous gift from you today will be DOUBLED by the Volunteer Service for Flinders Medical Centre. This will go a long way towards buying a new ECMO machine to provide life support to people with heart and lung problems.

Flinders current ECMO machine often needs to be cranked manually by hand.

It’s bulky and hard to transport. This makes it difficult to move patients around the hospital. Or by road and air when they need to travel interstate for heart or lung transplant. 

A new ECMO machine has more advanced and reliable technology. It’s smaller and can be carried by one person, making transport easier and safer.

Will you help with a new ECMO machine to provide the best possible chance of saving a life?

An ECMO machine costs $120,000. We simply can’t provide it without your support.

By giving today, you can help Flinders Foundation to buy a new ECMO machine for the Intensive Care Unit in the New Year so more lives can be saved.

Until the end of December, your gift will have DOUBLE THE IMPACT, because it will be generously matched dollar-for-dollar by the Volunteer Service for Flinders Medical Centre.

Your donation could help someone like Patricia in future. No matter your gift size, every donation makes it possible to buy this lifesaving machine.

Thank you.

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