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Brighter Lives

Laser Raiser

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A laser-like focus to help children

Help Brighter Lives raise $173,000 for a new laser for the burns unit at Townsville University Hospital. 

Over 200 children a year from across NQ are brought to Townsville University Hospital when they experience a burns injury. Treatment can take many months and result in scarring, discolouration and itching. And as children grow treatments need to continue.

Meet 12-year-old, Dexter and his mum, Diane, who know firsthand how important this laser is to North Queensland. Dexter was burned with a hot stove on both hands when he was just 2 years old.

As a young toddler, Dexter needed to have constant hospital visits to reduce the thickness of his scarring. This involved painful procedures that left the little boy needing to wear bandages and gloves to keep his hands clean to reduce the risk of infection.

“It was difficult for a toddler to keep his bandages on and not play in sand or dirt to keep his little hands clean. He was given special Iron Man gloves, which definitely helped,” Diane said.

Then in 2019, when Dexter was 9 years old, after enduring years of painful procedures, he was the first paediatric patient in Queensland to be treated with a new laser. Thanks to the amazing generosity of the NQ community, Brighter Lives successfully raised funds to purchase the Clinical CO2 Fractional Laser for Townsville University Hospital. 

Brighter Lives needs your help again to buy a new laser that will bring the latest technology in burns treatment to Townsville, helping kids in NQ.  

The dual-wavelength laser can effectively target smaller skin and scar tissue areas, helping treat children with problematic scarring. It also helps reduce scar redness, itching and vascularity, improving the quality of life for burn survivors like Dexter. Laser treatment also allows little patients to head home straight after their procedure and back to school, sport and being a kid the next day.

Paediatric Surgeon Dr Dan Carroll has been working with Dexter for many years of his young life.

"For a lot of our patients, the burns are smaller so they are able to come and go the same day. They don't need anaesthetic for long and it's not particularly painful," Dr Carroll said. 

"But for patients like Dexter, the burn injury causes tightness and scar thickening, and it becomes really difficult for him to maintain dexterity in his hands."

With laser treatment, Dexter avoids painful surgery - meaning less time in hospital, shorter recovery time and more time being a 12-year-old kid. 

A dual-band, solid-state laser is particularly effective in reducing scarring, discolouration, itching and pain, and it's a better alternative to traditional surgery for patients like Dexter.

While no one ever wants to experience this, with your help, we can provide this service in North Queensland when local kids need it.

With a cost of $173,000 we are seeking support from our amazing NQ community - can you help to brighten the lives of children with burns injuries by donating towards this important equipment?


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