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Patrick’s story

How support far from home made a difference.

Relocating to give Patrick the care he needed

Patrick was born with multiple joint deformities and has undergone plaster casting of his torso and legs and faced ongoing surgeries since birth.

It has been extra tough for his family who are from Katherine in the Northern Territory. Not only have the family had to cope with Patrick’s medical needs, but they have also had to relocate twice for him to receive the treatment he needs at Queensland Children’s Hospital.

Almost two years away from family and friends

In 2021, his family temporarily relocated to Brisbane for the second time to enable Patrick to undergo further spinal procedures.His upper body torso plaster was removed and replaced with a halo gravity traction. This was a big moment for Patrick as he could experience a bath and go swimming for the first time since he was six months old.

It’s hard to convey the amount of treatment Patrick has had. In 2021 alone, he had four operations, over thirty-one visits to hospital and over 130 physiotherapy and occupational therapy sessions. All this, away from his two siblings and extended family interstate.

Support far from home

Being so far from home for such significant periods of time presented a range of challenges for his family, however they leaned on the Children’s Hospital Foundation team for support. This included frequent visits to the Foundation’s playroom Kidzone. The Family Resource Centre was also Patrick’s dad, Patrick Senior’s, sanctuary. Using the computers enabled him to continue working full-time remotely for the last two years continuously and for the past five years intermittently. He would spend hours, days and nights in the Family Resource Centre and would not have gotten by without it.

Patrick shows incredible resilience and continues to reach significant milestones, including learning to walk. He has more surgeries and hospital visits in his future, but the Children’s Hospital Foundation and our supporters will be with him every step of the way.

All of the services change lives. Truly. We can see it; we’ve experienced it and we’ve lived the benefits of it. And that’s why we’re so grateful because it makes Patrick’s hospital experience so much more comfortable. He’s not focused on the treatments, operations, or the pain he’ll be in. Instead, he’s excited for all the things he gets to see and do, and it makes such a big difference.” 

Patrick’s dad 
2626695,_Patrick Fleming, Multiple Complex 022A8668