A group of young patients from The Children’s Hospital at Westmead enjoyed a big surprise on Cunard’s legendary Queen Mary 2 liner in Sydney, with the ship’s crew putting on a special “Teddy Bear’s Picnic” for their visitors.
Joined by the liner’s Captain Kevin Oprey and members of his crew – as well as a pirate, face painter and balloon artist – the kids were treated to a fun-packed picnic lunch to celebrate the hospital’s 2016 Bandaged Bear Appeal.
The children also enjoyed a private tour of Queen Mary 2 including a visit to the liner’s bridge and a star-gazing experience in the planetarium – the only one at sea.
Stretching 345 metres long, the 151,400-tonne Queen Mary 2 remains the largest ship ever to visit Australia. She arrived in Sydney last week for an overnight call as part of her 120-night world voyage.
The young visitors were all patients at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead with ongoing health issues from a broad range of areas including cancer and heart conditions.
The Children’s Hospital at Westmead Director of Community Relations & Marketing Gilly Paxton said the children had had the most wonderful time onboard Queen Mary 2.
“This truly is a once in a lifetime experience and we are sure it’s something they will always treasure,” Ms Paxton said.
“Many of our patients face daily challenges, so it’s great for all of us to see them have so much fun. Cunard’s crew and staff have gone out of their way to make this a very special day and we’re grateful for the kindness extended to our patients.”
Welcoming the children onboard, Captain Oprey said it was a privilege to show them around.
“Over the years we’ve done a lot of exciting things with our guests on Queen Mary 2, but this is our very first Teddy Bear’s Picnic – which just shows how special you all are,” Captain Oprey said.
The Bandaged Bear Appeal is the signature fundraising event for The Children’s Hospital at Westmead. Running throughout March, the appeal relies on the community to raise essential funds to enable the Hospital to purchase the most advanced medical equipment, fund vital research into the causes and cures for childhood illness, and maintain the total healing environment that is vital to the wellbeing of children and families.