Mater donates for Jonathan
FIVE years after performing his life-saving lapband surgery, Mater Misericordiae Hospital Bundaberg staff have shown their community spirit with a $5000 donation to help Jonathan Shields shed 25kg of excess skin.
After losing 121kg, Mr Shields is stuck with a surplus skin that causes his body to ache, weighs him down and is causing medical problems.
He needs $10,000 for the first stage of the operation, which will remove the skin from his torso, and a further $10,000 to remove the skin from his arms and legs.
Hospital staff read of Mr Shields’ plight in the NewsMail last week and were quick to gather $5000 to put towards the surgery.
Hospital executive officer Adele Wilkinson said she had followed Mr Shields’ story since he first came to the hospital several years ago.
“In 2005 he (Jonathan) was one of the first on the list for that operation,” she said.
“It’s been amazing to see the changes. He’s had a pretty tough road.”
Ms Wilkinson said she had watched Mr Shields transform both physically and emotionally.
“He is much more outgoing than he used to be,” she said.
“He’s really getting into life.”
The hospital officer said giving back to the community was the Mater way.
“We always try to help where we can,” she said.
“When we see a need and someone deserving of assistance, we try to do as much as we can.”
Mr Shields said he was shocked to receive the call with news of the donation.
“I was over the moon,” he said.
“I am so grateful.”
Mr Shields’ mother, Lynn, said she was thrilled with the support the community had shown her son.
“One man donated $1000, which was so nice,” Mrs Shields said.
“Another lady donated $1 in 20 cent pieces.
“It’s not the amount that counts.
“Every little bit helps and people have been so good. It’s fantastic.”
Mr Shields said a range of donations from the community meant he now had $6500 to put towards the surgery.