Ward neighbours become firm friends

Meet Lana and Dalene two ward neighbours who have become firm friends.

They say friends can be found even in the darkest of times.

And that could not have been more true than for Lana, 8, and Dalene, 9, who found themselves in adjoining rooms at the Royal Children’s Hospital after both suffering seizures. They’d been neighbours for just one day, but as they raced each other down the ward, attacked a doctor with balloons and hid in the curtain that divided their rooms, they could have been mistaken for lifelong best friends.

It’s a sight that was even more extraordinary given that just two days earlier, Lana’s mother Kelly Wright had to pull her car over, jump out and give CPR to her unconscious daughter on the side of the road.

She said Lana was blue and unresponsive, having had a seizure triggered by her rare genetic condition, Glut 1 transport disorder.

“My eldest son said to me, ‘Mum, something’s wrong with Lana’,” she said.

“It was probably the longest seven minutes I’ve ever done on my own.”

And Dalene herself said: “I made a new friend.”

Dalene’s mother Rowa Barashi said it was great for her daughter, who has epilepsy and is also autistic, to meet other children who lived with seizures.

“To feel your body but then feel out of control … when we end up in the hospital, it is very stressful and she gets very anxious,” she said.

“(But) she’s says, ‘Let’s make friends and have fun together instead of just getting stuck in the hospital’.”

Written By Sarah Booth
Pictures by Mark Stewart
Published: Herald Sun 07/04/2023

Our Newsletter

Everything Good Friday Appeal, straight to your inbox. Get more information about your impact and how to get involved.