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Kid’s stamp of approval


Story by: Alanah Frost, The Herald Sun

It’s the miracle work of those at Melbourne’s Royal Children’s Hospital that has kept kids smiling for 150 years.

And as the hospital celebrates its milestone birthday this year, it is only fitting two of its long-time patients are helping to commemorate the occasion in the form of a special AusPost stamp.

Akeira Somphanpanya, 12, and Kyle Bozanic, 14, have been visiting the hospital since they were young. Akeira was born with a condition called Goldenhar syndrome, while Kyle was diagnosed with quadriplegia dystonia when he was just 2. From today, the pair will have their faces on an Australian stamp, which their families say is an “honour”. “We’re so happy to be involved,” Akeira’s mum Felisia Dewa said. “Akeira has been going to the hospital since she was a baby for a number of different reasons — she was born with a hearing impediment and without a kidney.” Kylie Bozanic, Kyle’s mum, said the hospital’s work had been “so important” throughout her son’s life. “It’s a very welcoming place and everything we’ve had to do there has always been wonderful and felt well supported,” she said.

Australia Post Philatelic Manager Michael Zsolt said the stamp honours the extraordinary impact of caring for children that the hospital has undertaken over the past 150 years.

“It is a privilege to be able to celebrate this significant milestone in the extraordinary care for children, not only in Victoria and Australia, but around the world.”

RCH patients Akeira and Kyle are on the new RCH150 Australia Post stamp

John Stanway, Chief Executive Officer of The Royal Children’s Hospital warmly welcomed the initiative by Australia Post.

“I would like to thank Australia Post for this incredible gesture which recognises the impact the hospital has had on the health of Australian children throughout its history. The RCH is dedicated to ensuring that children and young people have access to the best possible healthcare everywhere, now and into the future.”

The commemorative stamp issue is available at participating Post Offices, via mail order on 1800 331 794, and online at AusPost, while stocks last.

John Stanway, CEO with 14-year-old Kyle and 12-year-old Akeira