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Eight-year-old Belle was riding her horse on her family property in Kingaroy on the last day of September school holidays when she tragically fell. She had to be airlifted from the farm, presenting with a broken pelvis in three places, a broken jaw, and internal bleeding caused by multiple internal injuries.

Belle spent six weeks in Queensland Children’s Hospital being treated for her extensive injuries, bravely enduring five major operations, a dangerous infection, and the loneliness of being away from home. he was wheelchair-bound during her treatment as a result of her injuries, which was so tough for a kid who was usually very active. Her jaw injuries also meant she could only eat soft food, so she had a feeding tube inserted during her jaw plate surgery. She lost a lot of weight through her journey.

Her family came down to Brisbane to be near her, however, COVID-19 restrictions meant Belle’s three older sisters and her little brother couldn’t come into her hospital room during her recovery.

Soon after her initial discharge, Belle returned to Queensland Children’s Hospital with an infection from the metal plate in her pelvis, which required intravenous antibiotics. The infection meant Belle had to spend more time in hospital and in her wheelchair.

Belle’s time in hospital was made better by Children’s Hospital Foundation support services. She was a frequent visitor to Kidzone, enjoyed the loans library to pick books to read and toys to play with, utilised music therapy to help alleviate her anxiety during procedures, and did craft activities.

“These things were such a light in her day. They gave her a break from the boredom of hospital and moments where she could smile. And it helped us as parents to see that smile on her face,”

Kidzone was a particularly important place for her as it allowed her a play space for her to enjoy with her siblings, given the ongoing restrictions during the pandemic.