Generous donors give a gift that keeps on giving

05 Feb 2024

Six dedicated nurses from St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne’s 10 West Neurosurgical ward were given an unexpected and very welcome surprise. Chelsea Loerand and Richard Thayer donated funds that will cover the out-of-pocket costs for the deserving nursing staff who are about to commence their post graduate studies in Clinical Nursing (Neurosciences) in January 2024.

Upon hearing the generosity of Richard and Chelsea’s gift, many tears were shed by the recipients who had no idea they were going to receive such kind support. Each recipient vowed to make Richard and Chelsea proud as they undertake their studies this year.

Kathryn Connor, 10 West Nurse Unit Manager said, “There are no words to express our appreciation for the generous donations bestowed upon our team. This is truly a gift that will keep on giving!

“Investing in nursing education gives our nurses the opportunity to perform at their best so that our patients receive the best possible care that is rich in evidence and best practice. 

“The winners here are our patients. And for that we are eternally grateful.”

PHOTO: L to R - Catherine Segrave, Jessie Jessie, Richard Thayer, Chelsea Loerand and Trent Miller.

Both Chelsea and Richard have deeply personal connections to the 10 West team.

Chelsea's husband Brock was cared for by the 10 West team for several years after he was diagnosed with a brain tumour. He fought courageously but succumbed to his illness in 2019. After Brock’s passing, Chelsea made the decision to give a donation every year to St Vincent's. “It’s to thank the team for Brock’s incredible care. I hope it helps in some way.”

PHOTO: Chelsea with a photo of her late husband, Brock. 

Richard, who is St Vincent’s Foundation’s Partnership Manager, never thought he would need to receive treatment at his workplace. But last year he became a patient at St Vincent’s 10 West ward when he had a brain tumour removed. “Not a day goes by that I don’t count myself extremely lucky."

"Thank you doesn’t even come close to how I feel about the care I received. It was wonderful to see the funds raised from the Something On The Brain fundraiser, was able to benefit the staff on 10 West."

PHOTO: (L to R): Paul Smith, Richard Thayer and Kathryn Connor (10 West Nurse Unit Manager).

Melina Talanis, Director of St Vincent's Foundation (acting), said she was very moved by this beautiful story of philanthropic giving. “It really has it all - excellent patient care and grateful patient giving that recognises the importance and impact of staff education - a truly virtuous circle.”


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