For Christmas this year, four-year-old Amelia Pinchbeck and her family want the Bendigo Health Foundation to receive generous donations for much-needed paediatric rehabilitation equipment.
A permanent and specialised rehabilitation therapy space for children is at the top of the foundation's wish list for this year's Bendigo Health Christmas Appeal.
"We know the best rehabilitation happens when kids get the opportunity to play so we want to purchase some specialised paediatric equipment that is going to help them," Bendigo Health Foundation manager Rachel Mason said.
Paediatric rehabilitation services are being delivered out of one of the two towers at Bendigo Health, which are slated for demolition once a new rehabilitation centre is complete.
The state government allocated almost $60 million towards the project in its 2019/20 budget.
The Bendigo Hospital Day Rehabilitation Centre, where the paediatric service will shift to, is expected to be completed by 2023. Construction is set to start in 2021.
Bendigo Health's rehabilitation services treat more than 100 children at any one time.
Amelia has been doing rehabilitation at Bendigo Health since she was about 10 months old.
She had a stroke 10 days before she was born.
"Amelia was born with hemiplegic cerebral palsy of the left side," her mother, Jennifer Anne Pinchbeck, said.
She said her daughter had difficulty with day-to-day tasks in the use of her left leg and arm.
"Simple things like being able to grasp things, we're working on trying to assist her to do that," Ms Pinchbeck said.
"Being able to walk independently is a huge one we're working on at the moment."
Ms Pinchbeck said her daughter was achieving things her family had never thought possible and becoming "fiercely independent."
"Linking in with services like the Victorian Paediatric Rehabilitation Service, they've given us an outline of what we can hope to achieve," she said.
"We're looking forward to what she will learn next year."
Senior physiotherapist Suzie Smith has been working with Amelia throughout her childhood.
"In that time, from learning to walk, Amelia now loves running, climbing... she's heading off to kinder next year," Ms Smith said.
Amelia's rehabilitation includes regular physiotherapy and occupational therapy, as well as medical interventions from a visiting specialist from the Royal Children's Hospital.
"She will need to access rehabilitation on and off at different times through most of her life," Ms Smith said.
Her hope was for children like Amelia to receive services in spaces that were motivating, creative and fun.
"Currently we're in facilities that were designed with adults in mind and we have an opportunity now with the move and the refurbishment to create and deliver some child-specific spaces, which will give families so much reassurance we can actually deliver the same level of care and rehabilitation they might get at a tertiary hospital in Melbourne," Ms Smith said.
Her dream for Bendigo Health's paediatric rehabilitation services included permanent play fixtures children could come back to and enjoy.
"Currently we set things up and take them down," Ms Smith said.
Her wish list included child-sized exercise equipment, climbing structures, tools to help refine fine motor skills, and spaces for children to play and move quickly.
"I want to see some places that have a bit more privacy for families and children and their siblings," Ms Smith said.
"I'm looking forward to a space where children can run without being in a public corridor."
Ms Pinchbeck highlighted the importance of a play space that siblings could also use.
"It can be an inclusive space, which is really important," she said.
She said her family would like to see people really dig deep for paediatric rehabilitation services at Bendigo Health.
"This is such an important appeal to get behind. We're getting this amazing new rehabilitation facility. Let's make it really special," Ms Pinchbeck said.
To donate or for more information, visit bendigo-health-foundation.giveeasy.org/2020-christmas-appeal