Customer donations help us help the kids at Starship. Below you'll find stories on how Mercury customer donations have helped.
Don't forget, it’s easy to add a small donation to your monthly bill and you can make a real impact for our kiwi kids too.
Lennox is a very special little boy. A real fighter. At 20 weeks of pregnancy a heart-defect was spotted, at birth he was put into intensive care, and at 3 weeks he was moved to the Starship National Children’s Intensive Care Unit (ICU) for open heart surgery.
At 10 weeks he underwent further surgery, spending 9 months in ICU. He’s still battling today but doing well, thanks to his incredible spirit and the world-class care he’s receiving.
If you’d like to help children like Lennox, it’s easy, sign up to donate a little on your bill each month.
Ezekiel Pilimai seemed to be a happy and healthy one-year-old boy when one day everything changed. He couldn’t breathe, he turned blue and limp. He was rushed to Christchurch Hospital where the team discovered that Ezekiel’s lungs had collapsed. He was quickly transferred to Starship’s Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) to receive specialised care.
“Starship means a lot to our family,” says mum Zoe. “Life is full of surprises and when life turns so suddenly like it did for us it made us realise how incredibly lucky we are to live in a country that has a hospital that focuses on children’s health. Without the specialised care we received we may not have our little boy with us now. So we are, and always will be, so grateful to Starship and what they do for all the families around the country that have found themselves in similar situations.”
Ezekiel is now 3.5 years old and continues to receive follow up care for his unique medical condition in Christchurch.
Baby Poppy's life hung in the balance.
At just three months old, she was having a major cardiac arrest. Poppy's mum, Estelle, remembers exactly what the doctors at her local hospital told her: Poppy's heart is not beating very well, it is not pumping the blood through her body. You have to be transported to Starship.
At Starship, Poppy was diagnosed with a chronic heart condition called dilated cardiomyopathy. That's when she was rushed into Starship's Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU).
Poppy stayed in PICU for a total of eight months, including her first Christmas, fighting to get well. Thankfully Poppy is now well enough that she was sent home with her loving family to Hamilton.
At just five days old, Xavier underwent his first of three open heart surgeries at Starship. Then, after nine weeks recovery, he headed home to Christchurch. Unfortunately, this wasn’t the end of little Xavier’s rocky start.
After arriving home, Xavier contracted bronchiolitis and was rushed to Christchurch Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit after he stopped breathing. It was now life or death.
Starship’s National Air Ambulance was called in. When Xavier touched down at Starship, he was immediately seen by world class pediatric specialists, teamed with leading facilities – both only available at Starship and critical to Xavier’s survival. We’re delighted to share that Xavier has since recovered and settled back in at home with his family, where he’s a lively buddy to his big brothers!
But sadly, many New Zealand families don't. Cold, damp homes lead to over 15,000 kids being admitted to Starship every year with preventable illnesses. That's why the Starship led Healthy Homes initiative was created. Hundreds of families' homes have been, and will continue to be, made warmer and drier with curtains, draught stoppers, heating and blankets.
As a part of this initiative Starship has already provided 4,917 curtains to 429 families in need.
By joining forces, our Starship donators have helped fund a magical $3.8m three year transformation of the Outpatients Department. This service sees over 80,000 outpatients per year, looking after fracture clinics, x-rays, plastering and other outpatient surgical procedures. The updated rooms, equipment and staff base have improved patient care, safety and transformed the patient and family experience - providing magical Augmented Reality experiences in waiting areas, the Starship Forest interactive walls magically come alive with movement, sound and interaction resulting in a fun and distracting experience for kids and their families visiting Starship Outpatients.
Now the wonderful experience of the Starship Forest is available in your own home with our new augmented reality app. Download it below to play interactive games while exploring the magic of the forest, home to friendly native birds, plants, insects and more!
The generosity of our customers has helped to fund projects over the years such as:
an amazing $3.8m transformation of this crucial service that sees over 80,000 outpatients every year.
the first of its kind in New Zealand, to help young children at risk of vision loss.
a flying intensive care unit to treat critically ill and injured children from all over the country and transport them to Starship Hospital.
fitted out with life-saving equipment to bring desperately sick babies to Starship from anywhere in the country.
to help save the lives of unborn twins affected by Twin-to-Twin Transfusion Syndrome.
providing free ear checks and specialist ear health services to children in the community.
the pilot phase of this project saw patient waiting times reduced from 12 to 3 months.
for children and staff in the new Medical Specialties and Neuroservices wards (Level 6).
providing a colourful and child friendly alternative to the traditional IV poles.
to brighten the walls of the wards and make the environment more child friendly.
to keep vulnerable and premature babies warm.
where families can wait close by whilst their child is having surgery.
provided in the rooms for a parent/caregiver to stay with their child in comfort.
assisting children to stand in physical therapy
including an introduction course and equipment.
which can be taken to the rooms of children unable to leave their beds.
was upgraded and transformed.
for clinical teams to train and practice their skills.
had its first upgrade since the hospital was built in 1992 with a new purpose-built play room, an infant feeding therapy room and whanau room.
including an echocardiography system to give surgeons 4D images of the heart.
Script for Paediatrics is an app that makes prescribing antibiotics smarter and more efficient.