Meet Sue Kearney Hospice Manager

Very Special Kids Hospice is one of a kind in Victoria, offering eight beds for respite and end-of-life care for children with life-threatening conditions, with nurses available 24 hours, and family accommodation on site.  At the helm of this operation is Hospice Manager Sue Kearney.

Sue leads a team of 20 nurses, 15 carers, four doctors, the hospice music therapist and hospice cook, with the support of Very Special Kids’ Chief Medical Officer Simon Cohen.

A registered nurse with close to twenty years’ experience in paediatrics, Sue tirelessly works to enable her team to offer the best care possible to children staying at the hospice.

Sue, a mother herself, says access to the hospice is essential for families who need a much-needed break.

“When I leave the hospice every day, I feel lucky to go home to two healthy children and unwind.  I can go to the beach.  Go out for dinner or a movie.  I can call on a friend to babysit and take some time out for myself and my husband.  Sadly, this isn’t possible for many of the families we support,” she said.

The Very Special Kids Hospice team work hard to make the experience for children staying there a home away from home, with comfortable surroundings and fun activities.

“The hospice is filled with warmth and love, laughter and tears, delicious smells from the kitchen and those familiar sounds of home like a TV blaring a cartoon, a teenager playing a musical instrument or a story being read to a child,” said Sue.

Sue said that even though at times the work can be tough, she loves her job because of the families.

“Whether it’s hard times or good times, I get to spend precious moments with families and help them get the respite they need.”

Very Special Kids supports 900 Victorian families who are caring for a child with a life-threatening condition by providing access to Very Special Kids Hospice and professional counselling services.