Construction site visit puts smiles on little faces
A behind-the-scenes look at the Sydney Children's Hospital Stage 1 and Minderoo Children's Comprehensive Cancer Centre (SCH1/MCCCC) construction site provided a welcome distraction for a group of young patients this month, with none more excited than Andy!
When Andy is away from home for treatment, he loves to play 'diggers' with his dad from his hospital bed, teach the nurses about his toy excavators, and listen to the construction next to the hospital.
The almost three-year-old is undergoing treatment for Ewing Sarcoma, and when he’s in hospital, he misses his dad's excavator at the family’s home four hours away on the South Coast.
"Andy was just over one-year-old when we got the digger, and that's where his love for it came from – his dad talking to him about it, letting him sit on his knee and putting his seatbelt on," said Andy's mum, Kate.
The smile on Andy's face was undeniable when he and almost 20 other children went behind the scenes of the SCH1/MCCCC construction site in April.
Andy was so excited waiting for the tour to begin, putting his hard hat and vest on. When he got to go in, he was so excited to see the diggers up close," said Andy's mum, Kate.
"The next day, he said, 'Can we go back to the work site, dad?' He asks all the time."
As construction ramps up on site, the project builder John Holland Group hosted the group of current and former patients, community members and children of staff as part of a broader plan to take children on the journey of the hospital redevelopment.
Children are at the front and centre of the new hospital building, and we want to support young people and their families to feel a part of the process every step of the way," said John Holland Group Project Director Lizzie Cox.
"It was a pleasure to have so many young people on site and wonderful to help put a smile on so many little faces."
The children were able to sit on a stationary excavator and watch the construction machinery in action. The site's new crane was also used to lower Easter eggs into the nearby George Gregan Playground, where the children and their families took part in an Easter egg hunt and enjoyed a surprise visit from 'The Easter Bunny' and two captains from Starlight Children's Foundation.
"It was fantastic to be joined by so many children of diverse ages and abilities and to celebrate all the work on the new hospital building to date," said SCH1/MCCCC Project Director Cathy Lovell.
We look forward to creating new opportunities for patients and their siblings as construction continues," said SCH1/MCCCC Project Director Cathy Lovell.
The $658 million redevelopment will offer new and enhanced paediatric services, including an expanded emergency department, a new intensive care unit, medical short-stay unit and neurosciences centre.
The Minderoo Children's Comprehensive Cancer Centre is the first centre of its type in Australia – revolutionising paediatric cancer research and treatment.
The project is expected to be completed in late 2025 and is being delivered by Health Infrastructure in partnership with the Sydney Children's Hospitals Network, Children's Cancer Institute and UNSW.