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As a long-time supporter of The Hospital Research Foundation (THRF) and The Queen Elizabeth Hospital (TQEH), the celebration of THRF’s 50th anniversary this year is a very special occasion for Sylvia Bridgman.
As a life guardian of THRF, Sylvia is one of the many valued supporters that will leave a lasting legacy to medical research, enabling the continuation of searching for cures and improving care in South Australia.
With a myriad of memories of TQEH and THRF, Sylvia explained that her experience with TQEH began when she was having her second child.
“Paul was born in 1957 at the Nurses home, which they were using as the maternity hospital while the actual maternity hospital was being built,” Sylvia said.
“In 1959, I had my third son, David, and this was in the new maternity hospital at TQEH and I was able to watch the conservation of the main part of the hospital.”
Following the birth of TQEH, Sylvia says it became her home away from home and she was the ‘chief visitor’ with her husband Colin in and out of the hospital for various reasons before he passed away at the age of 75.
“While Colin was in TQEH for a lot of reasons the main problem was endocarditis, which is a bug in the blood that attacked the aortic valve,” Sylvia said.
“He was the first person in fifteen years that survived this infection.
“The whole time TQEH was fantastic – they did everything they could to keep Colin alive. They did not give up on him.”
With such an admiration of the care provided at TQEH, both Sylvia and Colin decided to give back to the hospital by donating money to The Queen Elizabeth Hospital Research Foundation, (now THRF), to help find cures and improve patient care in their community.
“It was Colin’s decision. He said there was to be no more birthday presents, no more Christmas presents – we would donate to the research foundation instead,” she said.
“This was a cause close to our hearts, and every year we would increase the amount of money we donated.”
“When Colin passed away, we also asked for donations to THRF at his funeral, which I knew he would have appreciated,” said Sylvia.
Having recently had a procedure at TQEH herself, Sylvia remains an advocate for the Woodville based hospital.
“If I had top medical cover and had been in the top private hospital, I still don’t believe I would have had the quality of treatment and care that I had at TQEH,” she said.
Now a Life Guardian and regular donor, Sylvia has one message for everyone involved with THRF and TQEH – “Just keep going. Keep going what you’re doing. Find the cures.”