TEGAN PETERSON was looking forward to the delight of discovering the sex of her first baby when she arrived at the Emerald Hospital to give birth in April 2015.
Instead the first-time mum and her husband Ben had to wait several agonising hours before learning that her “overcooked” baby – born at 1.44am on 1 April 2015 and weighing in at seven pounds and two ounces – was a boy.
“I was induced into labour and given morphine and the baby was born two hours later, but the morphine had caused complications,” Tegan says. “It was a complete surprise. He was over-cooked and we were not expecting any complications at all.”
Their baby boy had trouble regulating his temperature and suffered an irregular heartbeat. Tegan and Ben watched on as doctors and nurses worked miracles before their tiny bundle of joy was whisked away from them.
“It was terrible; we were not sure if it was a boy or a girl or if he was okay. We had doctors and nurses everywhere,” she recalls.
When Tegan and Ben were finally allowed to briefly see their baby, they learned they were the proud parents of a baby boy, who they named Oliver. The next morning they discovered that Oliver was being treated in a neonatal resuscitation unit, colloquially known as a Panda Warmer.
“He ended up in a Panda Warmer pretty much from birth and for the next 12 hours.”
Tegan and Ben knew exactly where the machine had come from. It has been donated by their fellow employees at Hitachi Construction Machinery, in whose Emerald branch the young couple work.
In fact, Tegan was at the presentation ceremony 18 months earlier when the life-saving equipment was delivered to the central Queensland hospital.
“I knew that Hitachi had donated that piece of equipment and I took a photograph of Oliver in it and sent it to the office,” Tegan says. “I wrote, ‘We have had a boy, and he is in the Panda Warmer”.
The connection resonated with Hitachi’s Managing Director, David Harvey, who is the driving force behind the company’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) program.
“We started the relationship with Humpty in mid-2011. At the time we were looking for a charity that would be a good fit for our staff and one that could get a high level of commitment from the staff,” David tells Humpty
“We went to great lengths to explain that we, as a company, were supporting Humpty and one of the reasons we were buying equipment was because we knew where the money was going, and we knew the hospitals where the equipment was going.
“Once we got our people together at one of the equipment hand-overs, we got a groundswell behind the program because our staff got to better understand what it was all about.
“I think there is a great community spirit within and across all of the company and that has certainly helped; the cause certainly resonates with our staff.”
And, as David points out, there is another element at work, too. Other staff members just like Tegan and Ben have had babies and relied on various individual pieces of donated medical equipment.
Since 2011 Hitachi Construction Machinery has provided over 80 pieces of life-saving medical equipment to hospitals across Australia through the Humpty Dumpty Foundation. David says, “It was one of my desires as Managing Director to get aligned with an organisation that our staff wanted to be associated with, and Humpty is it.”
Team Hitachi will once again be running for Humpty in this year’s City2Surf. You can help Hitachi reach their fundraising goal here.