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Thursday, 16 April 2009

Sydney Children’s Hospital farewells long term patients

For young adults living with chronic health complaints like spina bifida, cystic fibrosis and diabetes, leaving the one family of health professionals and trusting in a new team, in a new environment, can be a daunting experience.

Tomorrow Friday, 17 April, Sydney Children’s Hospital will help ease 11 long term patients’ transition to adult health services with a very special Graduation Ceremony.

Similar to a high school graduation ceremony, family, friends and the hospital’s health care experts will join the ‘graduates’ in celebrating this important milestone.

The Hospital’s Director of Clinical Operations, Dr Michael Brydon, says as adolescents reach adulthood they outgrow the expertise of paediatric
clinical teams and need to move to an adult health service.

“Like any rite of passage, the transition to adult services marks an important and
challenging time in each of our patient’s young adult lives,” Dr Brydon said.

“With advances in technology and scientific breakthroughs, more and more
children with serious medical conditions are surviving into adulthood, making the smooth transition to adult services even more important.”

Dr Brydon says the transition to adult care is filled with anxiety, excitement and a touch of sadness between patients and staff.

“Many of these patients have been with us for the majority of their lives,” Dr
Brydon said.

“There is no doubt that we share a great deal with families who trust us to help
take care of their children.

“As clinicians we recognise that care will equally be provided by our colleagues in the adult facilities. Some of the moments we have shared are incredibly bonding and will live in our memories for many years to come.”

The Graduation Ceremonies are unique to Sydney Children’s Hospital, and form
part of a greater transitional program at the Hospital.

Special guest, Damien Leith will be performing a song at the event.

When:      Friday 17 April, 2008 at 10.30am
Where:      Sydney Children’s Hospital, Randwick
        John Beveridge Lecture Theatre, level 1
Who:      Eleven long-term adolescent patients, their families and medical staff

For Further Information Contact:

Jessica Jaramillo, Public Affairs Tel: 9382 3571 - Mob: 0404 001 722

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