Long-time local nurse Stuart Thompson-Coleman was blissfully unaware he had entered a name for the Gold Coast Hospital Foundation mascot until weeks after the winning entry went in.
He had come up with the name, Betty Get Better, at the Foundation’s Hospital Heroes ball in October after discussing it with his wife Helen and colleagues from the Gold Coast Private Hospital.
Mrs Thompson-Coleman submitted the name then and there, thinking it was the perfect suggestion for a medical mascot. And Mr Thompson-Coleman only discovered what had happened when he submitted the name a second time.
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“We were just talking about it and I thought of Betty Get Better. I didn’t know what Helen was up to on her phone and I only found out later,” he said.
Mr Thompson-Coleman, who is the Gold Coast Private Hospital Emergency Care Centre Nurse in Charge and has been a nurse for 16 years, said he was inspired to come up with the name because the medical professional always hoped people got better and worked hard to make that happen.
“I am really thrilled to win this. I have never won anything and I have a lot of respect for the Foundation and what it does,” he said.
“A lot of people out there need the help they provide — they provide important services and support.”
Gold Coast Hospital Foundation CEO Kim Sutton said there had been an overwhelming response to the mascot naming competition.
“Betty Get Better was among more than 250 names officially put forward by the community for the Gold Coast Hospital Foundation mascot in just a few weeks and we had many more unofficial entries,” she said.
“We had medical staff, patients, family members and school students from across the Gold Coast suggest names for our mascot, which was wonderful.
“The mascot will be engaging regularly with kids on the Gold Coast and we wanted to pick a name that would appeal to them as well as adults, while also capturing the Foundation’s purpose.
“Some of the name suggestions were really heartwarming and were put forward by former patients and their families who had been helped by doctors and nurses at Gold Coast University Hospital that they wanted to thank.”
Ms Sutton said Betty Get Better would be the face of the organisation in the community and help spread the word about the vital support Gold Coast Hospital Foundation provided to patients and their families.
Gold Coast Hospital Foundation was established 23 years ago as the official charity for Gold Coast Health, which includes Gold Coast University Hospital and Robina Hospital. The Foundation raises funds to help medical professionals make a difference in the lives of almost 100,000 sick and injured children and adults each year, delivering a range of vital programs, medical equipment and research funding.