Danielle's memory lives on
Danielle Channon may no longer be alive but her legacy lives on at Lismore Base Hospital where a mural painted in her memory was unveiled on Wednesday.
Danielle had a heart condition and spent the first 21 years of her life in and out of the Lismore Base Hospital Children’s Ward. She then had a heart and lung transplant but sadly died two years later, in October 2007, due to complications.
After she passed away, her mother Wendy went on a fundraising mission and raised $18,000, which she split between the heart and lung transplant unit at Sydney’s St Vincent’s Hospital, the Heart Research Institute and the Children’s Ward.
“We spent a lot of time here (at the Children’s Ward) and they were like family,” Wendy said. “When I handed over the money I said I don’t want this to go into government coffers, I want something for the Children’s Ward, but later I sort of regretted that I hadn’t chosen something. It was quite bizarre because then I got this call out of the blue telling me it would be spent on a mural in her honour, and I was just really overwhelmed. It’s fabulous.”
The mural was created by local artist Tim Mosely and artistic clinicians Jenny Robson and Maya Veit, who all donated their time to paint the walls and ceiling of the Children’s Ward treatment room, creating a wonderful underwater adventure park. They even included a photo of Danielle, making her a mermaid who looks over the children while they are in their hospital bed.
“At first I didn’t realise it was a photo and I thought the likeness they’d painted was unbelievable!” Wendy laughed. “It’s lovely to think she’ll be always keeping an eye on the kids and cheering them up a bit. Three of Dani’s friends who have children have actually been in here with their kids and they walked in and could hardly believe it. It’s just beautiful.”
Children’s Ward play therapist Mal Mosely said the mural took a “a few months” to complete, with the artists working in the evening when the room wasn’t being used, but the result is well worth it.
“An undersea world theme was chosen, as a visual diversion, with activities strategically placed for children to enjoy during their medical procedures,” Mal said. “The scenery includes a beautiful bubble tube that displays floating fish and changes colour through a switch panel controlled by the children. Another light show appears through a star machine, which creates a spray of sparkles, lighting up the coral.”
“Hidden amongst the coral and reeds are familiar famous fish and friends such as Nemo, Dorey, Bart, and Bob the Builder, for children to discover. Staff regularly search the shipwreck for Johnny Depp, but to date, he remains elusive!”