2018 Monash Health Christmas Appeal

Your donation to the 2018 Monash Health Christmas Appeal will support the purchase of two portable ventilator machines needed for the Emergency Department at Monash Medical Centre. 

The ventilators provide breaths to patients who cannot breathe on their own, supporting their life. With the increasing number of patients the ED is seeing every year, we need additional equipment to support patients like Ross. 

Monash Health saved my husband’s life,

he wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for the wonderful doctors, nurses and medical equipment” – Sheryl Diaco.

Dedicated wife, mother, Monash Health employee and carer - Sheryl - could be one of the strongest women you ever meet. She has cared for her beloved husband Ross for the past four years, as he has battled cancer not just once, but three times.

“I was heartbroken when they told me Ross had cancer. After 43 years of marriage my greatest fear was that one day I would wake up a widow”– Sheryl Diaco.

Please consider making a gift to the 2018 Monash Health Christmas Appeal. Your generous donation will support the purchase of two additional ventilator machines, urgently needed for our Emergency Department. The ventilator machine facilitates breathing for patients who cannot do  so on their own.

“I want to stay alive for as long as I can. Donations like yours will support equipment needed to save the life of someone like me. I can’t thank you enough for that” – Ross Diaco.

Some of what Ross and Sheryl have experienced is more than most could bear, but their sentiment is strong – it’s a long road, and we must support each other to get through it.

“It’s been an incredibly tough journey. But I have learnt a lot: patience, tolerance and above all, positivity. You cannot blame anyone for this, all you can do is find some good to come of it” - Sheryl.

Sheryl has worked for Monash Health for the past 14 years. So, Sheryl is no stranger to what goes on in hospital – but she never thought she would be on the other side.

“For years I watched people sit by their loved-ones in hospital, as they put up a fight for their    life. And now that is me, and my husband. At times I just can’t believe it’s true” – Sheryl.

Ross has been to the Monash Health Emergency Department (ED) more than 10 times –

so many that he has lost count. But Sheryl remembers every one. As a cancer sufferer receiving chemotherapy Ross’ immune system is depleted. If Ross experiences a dangerously high temperature, it can mean many urgent trips to ED.

“The Monash Health ED staff are incredible. They have to deal with extremely tough situations under immense pressure. It can be chaotic and stressful but they do such an extraordinary job” - Ross.

For over 200,000 critical patients presenting to Monash Health emergency each year, every second counts. The donor-supported ventilator machines will ensure no seconds are lost.

Your donation will help save lives.

“These two ventilators will enable us to treat patients like Ross immediately, providing respiratory assistance to completely take-over, or support patient breathing. We require additional ventilators to keep up with our ever-growing patient population” – Rachel Rosler, Director of Emergency Medicine at Monash Medical Centre.

Just imagine for a moment….a patient like Ross in ED, his wife Sheryl anxiously waiting as the staff revive him. And a piece of equipment, available because of you, helps Ross to breathe when he cannot on his own, saving his life.

To respond to the needs of our growing population Monash Health will be redeveloping the Monash Medical Centre Emergency Department. The plans have already been drawn and works are set to begin in the New Year. The redevelopment will be based on a new and innovative model of care, immediately streaming patients, in minimal time, to specialist medical areas.

On behalf of the inspirational patients I meet like Ross, and their grateful loved-ones like Sheryl, thank you for giving the gift of good health this year.

Wishing you a safe and healthy festive season.


Monash Health is Victoria’s largest public health service. We are proud to provide healthcare to one quarter of Melbourne’s population. The Monash Health Foundation is the fundraising department of Monash Health.

We assist donors fulfil their wish to make a true difference by helping secure vital equipment, key services and programs that would not otherwise be possible without financial support. Every donation, however big or small, makes a difference. 

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