Roadtrip to see how Humpty is helping sick country kids

Ray Martin chats with Manning Hospital's nurse unit manager of the children's ward Tracey Laidlaw.

Ray Martin chats with Manning Hospital's nurse unit manager of the children's ward Tracey Laidlaw.

Humpty Dumpty Foundation patron, Ray Martin with Vanessa and Archer Ryan and foundation founder, Paul Francis.

Humpty Dumpty Foundation patron, Ray Martin with Vanessa and Archer Ryan and foundation founder, Paul Francis.

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KINDNESS and generosity are at the core of the Humpty Dumpty Foundation and it's no wonder that its founder and patron exude these two qualities in spades.

Founder and executive chairman, Paul Francis OAM, together with patron and well known television identity Ray Martin AM, visited Manning Hospital on Wednesday morning on their roadtrip down the coast to view how some of the foundation's donations are being used in regional hospitals.

The Humpty Dumpty Foundation is synonymous with helping sick children and babies, having donated more than $40 million worth of vital equipment to children's hospitals over the last 18 years.

Martin has been involved with the association since the very beginning and uses his enormous public profile to generate support and funding for sick children around Australia.

"We are a generous and wealthy society and it's brilliant to see regional centres benefitting from the generosity of people," he said.

"It's great to go into these hospitals and see how a child or baby has been saved thanks to equipment the foundation has helped provide, it's life-changing."

The foundation was formed by Paul Francis in 1996 and during the recent visit to Taree he said he is still blown away by the generosity of people who have contributed to his organisation.

Manning Hospital has received about $180,000 worth of equipment since they first partnered with the Humpty Dumpty Foundation in 2007 and nurse unit manager of the children's ward Tracey Laidlaw said without their assistance, the hospital may never have been able to purchase the items they now have access to.

"It just makes such a difference, without them we simply wouldn't have the funding available to purchase the things we need, from the small ticket items through to the larger monitors, it's fantastic that we can have it available here," said Tracey.

The foundation supports 214 children's hospitals and health service centres throughout Australia and every few months hospitals can put together a 'wish list' of items that are included in the foundation's magazine, for people to purchase for them, through Humpty Dumpty.

"A huge amount of our funding comes through this way," explained Paul.

"I've had people ring me up after seeing the magazine and offer to buy a $150,000 ambulance for a hospital, it's amazing."

Paul and Ray make a wonderful team and during the visit they were accompanied by a cameraman and producer, to document their trip and present the footage at the upcoming Silver Anniversary Ball.

Little local Archer Ryan and mum Vanessa will feature in the presentation after Archer, born at just 33 weeks and five days gestation, has benefited significantly from equipment provided to Manning Hospital by Humpty Dumpty.

Ray and Paul chatted with Vanessa about her journey so far and were able to see for themselves how some of the equipment assists premature babies.

The ball is always a major fundraiser for the organisation, while the Balmoral Burn is also coming up on June 1.

For further information about Humpty Dumpty, head to the website www.humpty.com.au

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