Bravery earns 6-yr-old Charlotte award at Our Kids Day Out

EACH year more than 2000 young patients pass through the Lismore Base Hospital Children's Ward but few stay long enough to be on first-name terms with the entire staff.

But Charlotte Fox, 6, of Lennox Head, her parents, Brooke and Aaron, and her younger brother Hendrix got to know everyone late last year when Charlotte was a patient there for more than a month.

Charlotte yesterday received a bravery award during the ninth annual Our Kids Day Out festivities and charity fundraiser at Ballina.

"I was really sick and had lots of needles," Charlotte said.

"I tried very hard not to cry but it wasn't easy sometimes."

Pediatrician Dr David Meldrum said Charlotte had contracted a bacterial infection in her hip, possibly through a mosquito bite, and needed extensive and prolonged antibiotic treatments and regular wound drainage.

"The average stay is only about 24 hours these days, so Charlotte is a worthy recipient of the award bestowed by the nursing staff," Dr Meldrum said.

The Our Kids charity, founded by pediatrician Dr Chris Ingle, raises money for Lismore Base Hospital's Children's Ward and Special Care Nursery so that children from the Richmond Valley community and farther afield can receive specialist medical care locally.

The money goes towards facilities in the ward and in the homes of young patients.

The Our Kids Day Out festivities featured displays by emergency vehicles, along with loads of fun on the Ballina amphitheatre stage with Big Dog, Peabody and Sherman, Ronald McDonald and other funsters.

But for the Fox family, it was also a time to renew old friendships.

"It was all such a blur at the time but everyone at the Base was so good to us," Mr Fox said.

"They let us have a say in things and we were able to go through it all with Charlotte and be there at every step."

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