Jeannine and Dean were on the phone to their 21-year-old daughter, Laura, when the unimaginable happened – she was in a serious car accident on a quiet road in a rural area.

Laura before her accident, then at The RMH ICU

First they heard her scream. Then a loud bang. Then silence.

Laura’s boyfriend, Doug, who was driving said it all happened in a flash. The driver of the other car was later charged with dangerous and negligent driving.

Back at home Jeannine and Dean were still listening on the phone. All they could now hear was the click, click, click of the car’s indicator. They were in pieces. They knew there’d been an accident, but how serious was it?

Laura's injuries from the crash included a lacerated liver, a ruptured bowel, a ruptured spleen, a stroke from a blood clot and a broken back
Laura's injuries from the crash included a lacerated liver, a ruptured bowel, a ruptured spleen, a stroke from a blood clot and a broken back

“I could hear Doug screaming her name, calling for her, ‘Laura! Laura!!!’ Then terrible sounds – moaning and groaning – and when I finally heard my daughter’s voice, she was slurring her words,” said Jeannine

It was extremely serious. It took hours for emergency services to rescue Laura from the crushed car. Her injuries so severe she was airlifted to The Royal Melbourne Hospital.

In life-threatening situations, our trauma team at The Royal Melbourne moves fast— there’s no time to lose.

This Christmas we need your help to move just as quickly, to raise $110,000 to buy vital lifesaving equipment—a new state-of-the-art ventilator and ultrasound scanner—to help keep other patients like Laura alive.

Donate today

When Laura arrived at The Royal Melbourne scans showed that she had severe internal injuries including a lacerated liver, a ruptured bowel and a ruptured spleen. She also had a blood clot that caused a stroke. And her back was broken.

“As we drove, the police and the ambulance service kept in touch. Laura’s surgeon even rang us to tell us she was going into the theatre,” remembers Jeannine

Our nurses, doctors and surgeons battled to save her life. After a series of operations, she spent eight days on a ventilator.

The noise of the machines.” That’s what Laura says she remembers when she woke up in our Intensive Care Unit. Those machines, including the ventilator and scanner, had been keeping her alive.

Laura sitting up in bed with her parents Jeannine and Dean
Laura sitting up in bed with her parents Jeannine and Dean

All hospital equipment has a working life. We now need to replace and upgrade two vital pieces of equipment that our trauma team use at all times.

  • $70,000 for an ultrasound scanner, which is used to uncover a patient like Laura’s injuries
  • $40,000 for a ventilator which pulls air into lungs and pushes it out again when a patient is too injured or weak to breathe

A month after waking up, Laura was ready to start speech therapy and rehabilitation at a facility closer to home. This Christmas, she will be at home with Jeannine, Dean and her brother. They believe she will make a full recovery.

“She’s young, strong and determined. She's going to battle through and she's going to get back,” says Jeannine. “There’s no reason why she can't go back to university in a year’s time.”

This Christmas, please give as generously as you can to help buy a new ventilator and ultrasound scanner, and save lives.

Donate today

Thank you from everyone at The Royal Melbourne Hospital Foundation.