Samuel Morris was a bright and happy cuddly little two year old until 9th April 2006 when he had a non-fatal drowning in the families backyard pool. (the detailed story of what happened on that day is told by Jo-ann Morris here)
Through the extraordinary efforts of Samuel’s mum, his neighbours Les and Shirley, an unknown passerby, the members of “A”platoon at Cranebrook Fire Station, Maggie and Haydon from the NSW Ambulance Service and the Emergency Department team at Nepean Hospital Samuel survived this tragic accident.
After a short time being stabilised at Nepean Hospital he was transported to the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) at the Childrens Hospital at Westmead where he remained on life support for several days. After nine days in PICU he was moved to the Hunter Baillie Ward where he stayed for four months. During this time Samuel received first class nursing care and intensive therapy from the Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy, Neurology and Brain Injury teams.
Unfortunately as a result of this accident Samuel experienced a severe Hypoxic Brain Injury and was left with a range of severe disabilities.
Samuel’s disabilities meant that he required a range of equipment and ongoing therapy. Most of the equipment that Samuel and children like him need is VERY expensive and the waiting lists to receive this equipment can be up to two years long.
Samuel’s dad is a member of Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW formerly New South Wales Fire Brigades) and in the true spirit of the fire brigade family members of the FRNSW rallied around, supported by members of the other emergency services and some local businesses in the Penrith area. These efforts raised a significant amount of money to provide the equipment that Samuel initially needed.
Samuel was very fortunate to have had such incredible community support that truly made a difference to him and his family.
We believe that no child should have to wait for equipment that is essential to their care and quality of life. So the Samuel Morris Foundation was established with these aims:
- Providing aids and equipment relevant to the childs disabilities to provide them with the best possible quality of life
- Advocacy to ensure the needs of children with hypoxic brain injuries are met through the establishment of a National Disability Insurance Scheme
- Fostering research into the prevention, treatment and outcomes of children with hypoxic brain injuries and associated disabilities
- participate in drowning prevention and water safety campaigns with established water safety organisations
- Advocacy for changes to Standards, Legislation, Regulations and their enforcement to improve the safety of domestic swimming pool, and to improve safety around other water sources
- Establish long term collaboration and partnerships