10-year-old Rahni Cooper never realised she would need the services of the Royal Children’s Hospital as much as when she underwent open heart surgery in December of 2016.
Rahni had only recently discovered the conditions that required her to have surgery earlier that year.
As well as a hole in her heart, Rahni had atrial septal defect, which means that one side of her heart was bigger than the other. Rahni said it was hard staying at the hospital for so long as she wanted to come home, but she knew if her heart surgery didn't work she was in the best hospital ever to save her.
“I loved how nice the nurses were, but not taking the medication that they made me take,” Rahni said.
Rahni said she is glad she isn't so tired now and can keep up with her friends and being able to stay up late on weekends instead off falling asleep on the couch.
She has even enjoyed playing some netball and basketball at school which she could never do before as she was to tired and said she feels so much happier too now.
Since the operation, the whole family has become active in giving back to the medical institution that gave Rahni such life-saving surgery. This was achieved through raising money for the Good Friday Appeal.
Rahni has been active in raising funds and planned her own fundraising events such as selling lollipops and setting up stalls at festivals and other events.
“We held a Good Friday appeal. The colour theme was green,orange or purple for a dress day at St Mary's. We had a morning at Fred and Bets cafe where we sat out the front selling items,” Rahni’s mum Rosie said.
“We held a morning tea at the Ararat medical Centre and also over a weekend we had a stall selling hand made gift cards made by Rahni at the Jail House Rock festival as well has having head shaves. We raised $4000 in total.”
The family has issued a special thank you for the support they received from the community.
“We as a family are overwhelmed with the support we received from our local community, businesses, friends and family. A special thank you to:
Hannah Cunningham, Brett and staff from Fred and Bets. Sandra walker and committee from the Jail House Rock festival. St Mary's Primary school and the Ararat Medical Centre.
Rahni’s fundraising handed over a cheque to the Good Friday appeal worth $4000.We would just like our wonderful community to know how much their donations and support is appreciated.”