Maggie the Cow helps sick kids at the Wesley look on bright side

22-07-2015
-228Children at The Wesley Hospital’s children’s ward have something new to help put a smile back on their faces.

Thanks to the generosity of Malcolm and Heather Reid from Boonah, a new bright mural featuring Maggie the Cow by cartoonist Phil Day now features in the ward’s playroom.

The colourful mural, sponsored by the Reid family in memory of their daughter Jodie, depicts Maggie and other farm friends heading out of the green pastures and into the city.

Malcolm and Heather Reid said that, like their daughter Jodie, many country kids sometimes have to make the daunting trip to city hospitals like the Wesley for medical help, and that the painting of Maggie the Cow visiting the city demonstrated the journey “through a cow’s eyes” from the country to the city and back home again.

“Jodie had many visits to the Wesley and was flown several times to the Wesley by The Royal Flying Doctor Service from Roma and coincidentally, she nursed at the hospital in her mid twenties,” Heather said.

The mural is in memory of Jodie who was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at the age of two and a half.

“In her 27 years of life Jodie was a true inspiration, despite her chronic illness, and constant doctor and hospital visits,” said Heather.

Jodie went on to study nursing and received the Centaur Memorial Medal for the highest GPA in her final year at The Australian Catholic University. In 2001, in order to better understand her trials and to help others, she completed a Graduate Certificate of Diabetes Education at Deakin University.

The Reids said they have contributed to Wesley and the Australian Catholic University to help keep alive Jodie’s passion for compassionate and holistic nursing of the sick.

“Jodie firmly believed that it was necessary to care for the mind and the spirit as well as the body,” said Malcolm.

Due to her diabetes, Jodie struggled with numerous health complications but despite her ailing health she nursed in Maryborough, Roma, Brisbane and Boonah caring for others until her passing in 2004.

Jodie had even relocated to Brisbane and nursed at the Wesley to be nearer to her Wesley and other specialists. Her family then moved from Roma to Boonah to be closer to Brisbane in order to provide family support and Jodie eventually shifted to Boonah to endeavour to recuperate.

The Reids said Jodie and her brother Robert grew up getting to know Phil Day who later became an award-winning cartoonist.

“Jodie had always admired Phil’s work so it was very fitting to ask him to design the mural,” Malcolm said.

Phil Day said he received assistance from five past and present students and the Visual Arts Teacher Craig O’Shanesy from the Queensland Academy of Creative Industries to complete the mural.

“I really enjoy the fact that my mural can make someone smile or laugh,” he said.

Sonia Broadby, Clinical Nurse Manager, Paediatrics at the Wesley said the mural was a welcome addition to the play room area.

“The children’s eyes light up when they see it and it puts a smile on the faces of our adolescents, families and staff every day,” Ms Broadby said.

With the Royal Children’s Hospital now part of the Lady Cilento Hospital in South Brisbane, the Wesley is now the largest hospital providing specialist children’s and adolescent health services (inpatient, outpatient and emergency) in Brisbane’s Northern and Western suburbs. The hospital recently added a specialist paediatric insulin pump insertion and management service to assist diabetic children.