In the past year, 93 patients and their families in ICU travelled over 80 kilometres to access our vital services, spending 935 nights away from home. To care for their loved ones, families of ICU patients need to follow them to hospital. Leaving for Melbourne often on short notice, and needing to find accommodation in unfamiliar surroundings during what is already a highly stressful time.

Sarah Connelly knows the stress of this all too well. Her fiancé Brent Tough was transferred from Dimboola to the Northern Hospital due to a brain infection. The next day, without notice she had to pack up her life; including elderly grandmother in her care, and make the 360 kilometre trip to Melbourne to support and care for Brent. Arriving in Melbourne the day after Brent, Sarah spent the whole day and night in ICU alongside him, leaving the hospital after midnight without having secured a place to stay. Putting our loved ones in front of all else, details like where to stay can seem insignificant – but remain vitally important. During Brent’s week in hospital, Sarah and her grandmother stayed in three different hotels, and were almost forced to sleep in the car on the first night as they had no booking.

This is why we need your help to build ICU Family Accommodation.

This appeal is aiming to lessen the burden on the families of other patients in intensive care by providing a home near the hospital. Carers and families have much greater troubles concerning them than finding a suitable place to stay with a sick loved one.