Redcliffe Hospital staffer, now patient, Bob Birkett met Dolphins’ Head Coach Wayne Bennett and players at training this week and will be part of a guard of honour at tonight’s game against the Dragons at Kayo Stadium.
Bob, who is an avid Dolphins supporter and “The Hammer” super fan, has dedicated his life to helping people working at the Redcliffe Hospital but, in a cruel twist, Bob has become the patient as he undergoes treatment for lung cancer.
After serving in the State Emergency Service (SES) for 12 years, Bob’s passion of helping people led him to work at the Caboolture Hospital and more recently the Redcliffe Hospital, for the past 20 years.
As a Theatre Assistant Supervisor, Bob cares for patients in areas such as General Surgery; Urology; Gynaecology; Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) and Orthopaedics. Sadly, he hasn’t been able to work since January this year as he faces his own health challenges.
“It’s been going on for 12 months, at first it was nothing insidious, then all of a sudden it was,” Bob explains.
“I’ve undergone radiation and now I’m in immunotherapy treatment, so I’ve had the chance to see first-hand the difference the support of hospital staff can make to patients going through this experience.”
Celebrating community heroes
Developer and home builder Ausbuild is working with the Dolphins to shine a spotlight on the community superheroes playing vital roles in patient care and health research at Redcliffe Hospital, via the RBWH Foundation’s ‘Raise for Redcliffe Hospital’ campaign.
This week’s NRL clash between the Dolphins and St George Illawarra Dragons will be a memorable moment for 10 hospital staff including doctors, nurses and support staff who have been invited to join the Dolphins on field during the guard of honour at Kayo Stadium.
Bob, who has been following the Dolphins for years in the Queensland Cup, will not only get to attend his first Dolphins NRL game tonight but was also invited to attend Dolphins’ training yesterday.
Members of the guard of honour will be joined at the game by 40 fellow hospital staff who have received game-day double passes from Ausbuild.
Ausbuild Joint Managing Director Matthew Bell says he is delighted to provide tickets to the game and facilitate the community tribute, acknowledging the tireless work of hospital staff.
“As official community partner of the Dolphins, Ausbuild is proud to honour the superheroes of our community who provide essential support and care for patients,” he says.
“Our community is filled with the incredible selflessness of hospital staff, and we’re excited to offer them, including Bob, a once-in-a-lifetime experience to celebrate the contributions they make to society.”
RBWH Foundation CEO Simone Garske says it is a privilege to partner with Redcliffe Hospital for the benefit of the sports-loving Redcliffe peninsula and Moreton Bay Region community.
"The ongoing support of Dolphins NRL and Ausbuild for the Raise it for Redcliffe Hospital partnership is such a wonderful morale booster for hospital patients and staff," she says.
"It draws valuable attention to life-changing health research and patient care initiatives at Redcliffe Hospital that are made possible thanks to the extraordinary power of giving by donors."
To support the fundraising efforts of ‘Raise it for Redcliffe’, the community can purchase a ticket in the 50-50 Charity Raffle during Thursday’s game, or make a donation at www.raiseitforredcliffe.com.au
Raise it for Redcliffe is a partnership between Redcliffe Hospital and RBWH Foundation. All donations to Raise it for Redcliffe support Redcliffe Hospital.
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