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Kids ride to theatre in style thanks to kind donation

Published:  23 September 2021

A remote-control police car and motorbike have been added to the fleet at Townsville University Hospital (TUH) this week, with the ward’s youngest patients set to jump behind the steering wheel in a bid to drive away the nerves before surgery.

The shiny new fleet was donated by Townsville Dance On Rock’n’Roll group and driven by paediatric surgeon Dr Harry Stalewski.

“When you’re a kid about to go to theatre for surgery, it can be quite a daunting experience – not just for the kids, but for the parents as well,” Dr Stalewski said.

“These remote-control cars are a great way to distract the kids and take away any nerves they may have so we can get them to theatre smiling and laughing.

“The cars will take them the last leg of the journey from the holding bay to operating theatres and although we trust their enthusiasm, our staff will be using the remotes to ensure they get there safely.”

Townsville Dance On Rock’n’Roll member Elaine Tuesley said everyone in the volunteer dance group was simply happy to give back.

“We want to give back to the community; we don’t keep the money in our coffers,” Elaine said.

“In the past we have donated a virtual reality headset and games to help distract children undergoing treatment at TUH so it seemed fitting that we keep the trend going.

“Every Friday we hold a dance with live music at Cutheringa Bowls Club and on Tuesday we provide Rock and Roll lessons there.

"Once all the costs are covered, we contribute any surplus to a local charity – it’s not a lot but our members love helping local sick kids.

"Anyone is most welcome to come along to lessons or to the dance - just visit our Facebook page.

“Once all the costs are covered, we contribute any surplus that we make from those nights to a local charity – it’s not a lot but our members love helping local kids.”

Townsville HHS perioptive nurse unit manager Tanya Schafer said this was one extra way to help ease the stress of hospital settings.

“Donations like this show how generous and amazing our North Queensland community is,” Tanya said.

“I think we can all agree that some of our best childhood memories we have are ones made when laughing and doing something unique and this ticks those boxes.

“Thank you to Townsville Dance On Rock’n’Roll for thinking of the hospital and the next generation of kids coming through – we really appreciate their kind donation and we know the kids will too.”

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