The spirit of Telethon was in full swing on Saturday as celebrities visited sick children and their families at Perth Children’s Hospital for the first time since the onset of the COVID pandemic.
Channel 7 stars spent part of the afternoon giving some of WA’s children reasons to smile ahead of the 55th Telethon weekend.
Sonia Kruger, David Koch, Natalie Barr, Mark Beretta and Larry Emdur were joined by Manu Feildel who added some celebrity-chef sparkle to the kids’ corridors.
Also on deck were some of the cast of Home and Away including Lynne McGranger, Ada Nicodemou, Matt Evans, Jacqui Purvis, Luke Van Os, Kirsty Marillier and Juliet Godwin.
Better Homes and Gardens’ stars Charlie Albone and Juliet Love popped in and, of course, Fat Cat, as two separate COVID-safe groups navigated the wards interacting with kids and their parents.
One of those kids was Jas McGough who fractured her spine when she fell from her mountain bike while on holiday with her family in Margaret River.
Despite extensive efforts from medical staff, her injuries were too severe and she suffered a complete C5 spinal cord injury.
The Trigg teenager wakes up to Sunrise every morning, so when the network’s stars entered her room it was “pretty cool”.
“It was so nice to speak with them and how they do their shows, I wake up every morning to Sunrise so that’s how mum gets me up every morning and it’s cool to see them in real life just in my room,” the 14-year-old said.
The visit was made even more special with a shared passion for cycling. Sports presenter Berretta’s brother owns a cycling store and he told Jas how his love for the sport stemmed from his brother’s shop.
“He loves it too, it was nice to be able to connect on that level,” Jas’ mum Sophie said.
The McGough family, like many other Perth families, watch Telethon every year, but this year looked different.
“It’s cool to experience it from the other side, to be part of trying to support all the kids here, some are in worse condition than I am but helping me as well and helping raise money for this cause,” Jas said.
Beretta said it was great to be back for the “best weekend of the year”.
“It puts into perspective what this is all about and the incredible facility here at PCH and the work they do,” he said.
He said he would leave the State with “a great sense of having done something good”.
“The kids are awesome they are so resilient, they can be thrown into anything and just get on with it,” he said. “Sometimes you see it in their parents, the hardship and months of treatment, and they try to push through that, they deal with it every day.”
About three weeks ago Hayden Wall was taken to hospital with a cold but after an X-ray of his chest doctors discovered the three-year-old had an enlarged heart.
Now at PCH, the “firecely independent, king-of-the-playground” doesn’t let his disability hold him back.
Parents Shannon and Jo said medical staff had gone above and beyond for their son.
“Its just hard, there were no indications he had heart conditions or anything . . . this is one obstacle he can’t get over,” Mr Wall said.
The usually outgoing little boy became a bit overwhelmed with all the celebs during the visit but his dad said it was great to meet them.
Through the ‘Do It For Hayden’ campaign, the Byford family have raised more than $10,000 for Telethon.
Little four-year-old Sophia Donovan was “star struck” when Fat Cat came to visit. Her mum Abbey said it was great to see her daughter smile.
Sophia has been at PCH for about one week after experiencing high fevers and severe swelling in her body including her arms and legs as medical staff urgently try to determine the inflammation.
Four-year-old Rafael spent some time chatting with Sonia Kruger alongside his brother Dominic.
“It was so nice to see the kids perk up, it was pretty awesome, Sonia was lovely she’s so good with the kids,” the siblings’ mother Zavia Buccini said.
Larry Emdur, co-host of The Morning Show and host of The Chase Australia, was lost for words following the “highly emotional” but “special” visit.
“The visit is so special, it reminds us all what Telethon is and a kick-start to completely understand what the weekend is all about,” he said.
He said he had missed being back in Perth after been involved in Telethon for so many years.
“I can’t describe it . . . it’s an amazing event, the incredible financial and emotional support, there is so much love around the event,” he said. “I have a deep love and appreciation for the families. It’s such high impact stuff.”
Home and Away’s Perth-raised actor Juliet Godwin said she was excited to be back in her home city helping put a smile on people’s faces.
“It’s so special to be back in Perth, it’s the best place to come home too — West is best,” she said.
“It fills me with a lot of joy that I can be apart of Telethon and help raise money for such an important cause.”
Original posted at news.google.com