Thursday, October 19, 2023


Mackay and Whitsunday Life

A Triumph Of Community Support

By Amanda Wright

Picture this: a community coming together to champion equal access to top-notch healthcare. In a world where our health knows no bounds, last Thursday marked an extraordinary act of unity, as Mackay Hospital Foundation's Giving Day rallied the masses.

The mission was crystal clear: bridge the healthcare gap and ensure every family's health journey knows no disadvantages based on their postcode.

With the team from Gardian among many individuals generously donating their time, the telethon event commenced at 8am. With coffee and croissants in hand, by 8pm the fundraising target of $70,000 was impressively surpassed, with the campaign reaching more than $95,000, thanks to the passionate community including Giving Day’s ‘matched donors’.

Bridging Healthcare Gaps With Giving Day

Mackay Hospital Foundation’s Giving Day event welcomed Dylan Holmes as its ambassador. Dylan's presence added a powerful, real-world dimension to the proceedings. At the age of 42, and with no prior symptoms, he experienced a sudden cardiac arrest. The presence of a defibrillator at his workplace and the quick action of his colleagues and paramedics were the key factors behind this success story, underscoring the pivotal role that hospitals like Mackay Base play in providing life-saving care.

Dylan acknowledges that his survival on that day was the result of the combined efforts of his workmates at Jennmar Australia, the Queensland Ambulance team who were soon on site and the Mackay Base Hospital’s emergency, cardiac and intensive care teams who provided surgery and follow-up care.

Mackay Base Hospital Cardiologist Dr Dominika Budzbon spoke at the Giving Day breakfast and said that Mr Holmes’ cardiac arrest was caused by very fast and abnormal heart rhythm.

“After a period of stabilisation in hospital, we decided he needs protection from any possible event like that in the future.”

Dr Budzbon explained that Mr Holmes became the first patient in Mackay to receive an implant of a subcutaneous defibrillator (ICD).

“This is a clever and highly programmable processor which recognises dangerous heart rhythms and works out what to do with it,” Dr Budzbon said.

“It is suitable for patients who only need a device to shock the heart, and do not need the support of a pacemaker as well.”

Matched donors on Giving Day, playing a vital role, generously contributed to the cause. Notable contributors included Anglo American and Isaac Regional Council, with additional support from CFMEU, Mackay Base Hospital Auxiliary, Pembroke Olive Downs, Abbot Point Terminal, and Sons of the Southern Cross Motorcycle Club. Adding to this spirit of generosity were other donors, such as Mackay West Rotary Club, M & P Services, and the Austral Hotel, who had pledged their support in advance.

Local radio stations, Star 101.9 and Hit FM, actively joined in, lending their voices to further amplify the event's community appeal. Kristi Algate, General Manager of the Mackay Hospital Foundation, urged the community to embrace generosity and highlighted the importance of making healthcare a universal right, irrespective of regional or rural location.

Matched donors, sponsors and members of the Mackay Hospital Foundation gathered to launch Giving Day with a breakfast at Mackay Base Hospital. Photo credit: Amanda Wright

Mackay Hospital Foundation donors and supporters at the Giving Day Breakfast at Mackay Base Hospital. Photo credit: Amanda Wright

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