Starship: Inside Our National Children’s Hospital,
edited by Lochie Teague (Random House, RRP $50):
For a generation of young Kiwis, Starship hospital has always been there: the place the the very young and very sick can rely on to provide care for both its patients and their families.
However, some of us who are a tad older remember a time when we didn’t have a national children’s hospital in this country and while you might think that isn’t such a big deal, it really is phenomenal that we have so many skilled and talented people packed into one place.
And if you have ever had to spend any time at hospital with a sick child, you will appreciate just how special it is that we have such an extraordinary pool of talent available to us.
My own son was one of those very sick children at a time that pre- dated Starship and although we certainly received excellent care from the surgeons and other medical staff at Christchurch Hospital a quarter of a century ago when he was flown there as a week- old baby with failing kidneys, it was an incredibly isolating and difficult experience.
Starship has changed a lot of that, with support networks in place and an understanding that by default, many of the patients it deals with are away from home and those patients, and their families, need a little more support because of that.
This book celebrates 21 years of Starship, its staff and the children and families who have been part of the journey.
With the full story of how Starship came about, from the first light bulb of an idea through to the grand opening and beyond, it’s a comprehensive history of one of New Zealand’s greatest achievements.
There are also some heart-wrenching and uplifting case histories of the children who have passed through the doors of Starship, the staff and the milestones.