We are delighted to announce that thanks to one young girl’s bravery in telling her story, our Winter Appeal raised a record-breaking $202,000.

ICU Nurse Unit Manager Michelle Spence, Erin Shi and Director ICU A/Prof Chris MacIsaac

The appeal donations will be used to fit out the last remaining Pod in our Intensive Care Unit.

Erin Shi, a survivor of the Bourke St Ball tragedy in January 2017, spent over 33 days at The Royal Melbourne Hospital, with the majority of her time spent unresponsive in a coma in our Intensive Care Unit.

“The doctors said Erin was unlikely to survive. And that if she did wake up, she may be seriously disabled. They didn't know if she would be able to talk, or even eat. They told me, ‘Even if she does wake up, she still will be in danger.’” – Jiana Zheng, Erin’s Mum.

Erin Shi and her mother Jiana Zheng
Erin Shi and her mother Jiana Zheng

With her mum Jiana by her side, Erin was cared for our by tireless and steadfast ICU staff before she made her remarkable recovery, waking up after 25 days. It was the kindness and dedication shown by the team of doctors and nurses that left no doubt in Erin’s mind that if the time ever came, she would want to give back to the ICU.

Erin wanted to tell her story in the hope that it would raise urgently-needed funds for the ICU. She knew that the ward was in its final stage of redevelopment, and that by talking about her experience she would promote awareness of the important work ICU do and that people would respond generously. Erin readily agreed to feature in our annual Winter Appeal.

Erin generously donated her time to the Foundation team, and really enjoyed getting the opportunity to participate in raising these urgently needed funds. She particularly enjoyed the interview with the Herald Sun – that story resulted in a $5000 donation alone!

Next on the agenda for Erin is the launch of the Spring 2018 RMH Home Lottery, where we will also welcome Associate Professor Chris MacIsaac as a special guest.

We’re so thankful to Erin and her mum, Jiana, for sharing their story and we couldn’t be more appreciative of our wonderful donors whose generosity made such a fantastic result possible.