Dr Gardener nominated for Queensland Australian of the Year

8/11/2017 5:20:02 PM

Dr Gardener nominated for Queensland Australian of the Year

Dr Glenn Gardener, Director of Maternal Fetal Medicine at Mater Mothers’ Hospital, has been recognised as a finalist for 2018 Queensland Australian of the Year.

Dr Gardener was nominated for his pioneering work in Maternal Fetal Medicine, as the only specialist in Australia performing fetal surgery for congenital diaphragmatic hernia and spina bifida.

In July 2016, Dr Gardener and a team of Mater specialists performed the first in-utero maternal fetal surgery in Australia on a baby with spina bifida at 24 weeks gestation. Before this, Australian families had to travel to overseas or wait until their baby was born for surgery to be performed.

Dr Gardener has worked tirelessly for many years to champion the surgery, and has now performed the procedure on four expectant mothers and their babies with exceptional outcomes.

“There has been a lot of work from many people – the Vanderbilt team from the US, the team at Mater, and importantly, the families who have been on this journey with us."

“The families that we see teach us a lot about resilience, persistence and seeking nothing but the best possible outcome for their child. The honesty and trust of the families we have met can only be met with the best that we could offer. These families have no demands, just hope.”

For Dr Gardener, the nomination came as a great surprise, but he maintains that his greatest joy follows a successful surgery.

“We’re trying to improve the lives of these little Australians that haven’t yet drawn their first breaths… and it’s really changing their lives. When that child is born and I hold that baby up and hand the baby to the parents I think wow! What a difference that can make – not only to the life of the child but to the family. Watching these children grow up is really a privilege.”

Admired for his humility, kindness and desire to make a difference, Dr Gardener continues to advocate for all Australians to have access to the best medical care for their unborn babies – Australia’s next generation.

 

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