Tanya Dickenson with daughter Porcha, 12, used the Ronald McDonald House Charities family room several times while Porcha was recovering from a serious accident that occurred on their property in Alligator Creek. Picture: Zak Simmonds
Tanya Dickenson with daughter Porcha, 12, used the Ronald McDonald House Charities family room several times while Porcha was recovering from a serious accident that occurred on their property in Alligator Creek. Picture: Zak Simmonds

Girl back on the mend after horror crash

THE mother of a child dangerously injured in a car crash has spoken about the "godsend" the Ronald McDonald House Charities family room was, ahead of its birthday today.

Porcha Dickenson, 12, suffered grade four lacerations to her kidney and grade one to her liver when the car she was in smashed into a tree on the family property in Alligator Creek.

She spent about eight days in hospital that required her to remain completely still because of her injuries.

Doctors decided they wouldn't operate on her in place she didn't move so her internal injuries could heal.

Her mum Tanya Dickenson remained by her daughter's side, ensuring she remained still as Porcha endured needles and treatment.

Ms Dickenson said the hospitalisation was extremely stressful for herself and her family but made easier by the family room.

"It was a godsend, to be stuck in a ward when people poke and prod your baby it was heart wrenching," she said.

"It shortened my life, not the best week of my life … it's the worst thing in the world, to see your baby in intensive care.

"I wouldn't wish it upon anyone. I cannot speak highly enough of the doctors and nurses here."

Ms Dickenson said she found comfort in the arms of the volunteers who help take care of the families using the room.

"I think I cried on quite a few of the volunteers shoulders and they treated us with the utmost respect and dignity," she said.

"The people were so amazing, they would help whether it was a cup of coffee or to do some laundry."

RMHC North Australia Chief executive Amy Cooper said more than 20,000 people had used the facilities within the first year of operation.

"It's really about making sure families have access to the comforts of home when they have to be in the hospital," she said.

"More than 200 families are supported each month when they have little ones that are being treated on the children's ward," she said.

"We had 50 new volunteers put in 600 hours. Whether that's making a cup of coffee or doing laundry.

"It's really about making sure families have access to the comforts of home when they have to be in the hospital."



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