Maritime Workers Donate $5,500 to Neo-Natal Ward at John Hunter Children’s Hospital

Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) workers in Newcastle have handed over a very special delivery to the staff at John Hunter Children’s Hospital’s neo-natal ward.

The MUA Newcastle Youth Committee has raised $5,500 for the ward, to support the lifesaving work of its nurses.

Handing over the donation, one of the union’s own miracle babies – now almost three-year-old Kai - returned to the hospital with his dad, MUA linesman Caine Mathias.

Kai owes his life to the talented staff at the neo natal ward after being born 12 weeks premature and weighing just 940 grams. He spent 10 weeks in their care and left a healthy 2.04 kilogram baby. Kai turns 3 on December 22.

"We spent 10 weeks up here and he battled and looked stronger each day, all thanks to the awesome staff up here in the NICU Department,” Mr Mathias told WIN News.

Leading the appeal, MUA Newcastle Youth Committee deputy secretary Steven Murray said hundreds of union members had donated to help the hospital’s nurses – who work tirelessly for those in need.

“These donations have come from MUA members who are blue collar workers at Newcastle Port, including wharf officers and the crew of the David Allan dredge, tugboats, linesmen and coal loaders,” Mr Murray said.

“This is one of many donations the MUA gives to the community every month of every year – we will always be there helping others.”

Co-leader, MUA Newcastle Youth Committee vice president Joey Schneider, said union members would do all they could to support nurses, who go beyond the call of duty to try to save lives.

MUA Newcastle Branch Secretary Glen Williams applauded the union’s Youth Committee, saying they were true face of unionism in Australia, caring for those in need.

“The MUA has a very proud tradition of giving back to the community where it needs it most,” Mr Williams said.