On Sunday, November 20, Derana TV held a telethon dedicated to a cause this media powerhouse took close to heart: Little Hearts – a fundraising project for a new hospital wing for critically ill children at Lady Ridgeway Hospital (LRH).
Derana joined forces with Sri Lanka College of Paediatricians (SLCP) and leaders of various industries including Mobitel, Keells, Creative Solutions and TBWA, to help the nation raise funds for the wellbeing of its children.
The much talked about telethon gathered doctors, parents and influencers who shared their concerns about the growing waiting lists for treatment and intensive care at LRH.
During the programme, doctors highlighted the incredible progress peadiatric treatment portfolio has undergone at LRH over the years, breathing an air of optimism into the Little Hearts project.
Senior Paediatrician Prof. Sananth Lamabadusuriya commended the excellence of LRH’s staff, reminding the public that only 15 years ago children with treatable illnesses such as congenital heart disease (CHD) had little to no hope of recovery. Today, children with CHD walk out of LRH’s doors free of their illness, ready to grow healthy and strong.
Annually, over 1,400 children with CHD cannot receive treatment on time, while 60% of all critically ill children do not have immediate access to intensive care. They face long wait lists which force them into prolonged hospitalisation, homecare or private institutions where intensive care costs between LKR 100,000 and 500,000 per day. Some do not make it until their turn for treatment comes.
The public’s response to Derana’s telethon was instantaneous.Donations quadrupled overnight coming from around the world through Little Hearts’ website, and long lines of donors have formed at the doors of banks nationwide.
Several companies have already pledged their support to the Little Hearts by giving up their one-day salaries in favour of the cause, ordedicating a percentage of their profits.
Currently, Little Hearts has amassed over LKR 11 million in donations,however, the road to the project’s goal of LKR 2 billion rupees remains long.SLCP President Dr. Lakkumar Fernando, believes that if we maintain this pace of donations, the future of critically ill children in Sri Lanka will be brighter in just a couple of years.
“There is still a long way to go to reach the Rs 2 billion Little Hearts needs, but the people’s response has been heartwarming,” Derana deputy Chairman Laksiri Wickramage said.
“Sri Lanka is one of the world’s most generous nations, currently ranked 5th in the World Giving Index.
I am confident that with this project, we will justify and push that rank even higher.”
Next campaign in support of Little Hearts will be organised by Keells. The supermarket chain will collect donations at their outlets nationwide from early December and throughout the Christmas season.
[Source:Island and Daily News]