Julian’s story

Help children to reach their full potential


This is Julian, a happy, healthy 10 year old boy, who loves footy, soccer and computers. But when he was at kindergarten, Julian was irritable, exhausted and problems with his sleep caused his mother Natalie, lots of worry.

Julian snored loudly, sweated a lot and made strange noises in his sleep. Sometimes he even seemed to stop breathing. During the day, her little boy was very tired and grumpy.

Natalie was so worried, she took him to her family GP who referred Julian to the Melbourne Children’s Sleep Centre, where he took part in an overnight diagnostic sleep study.

The Melbourne Children’s Sleep Centre is unique in Australia. It’s our largest childhood sleep centre, the only one with a dedicated research bed and is internationally recognised for the high quality of its life-changing research.

photo-webAt the Sleep Centre Julian was diagnosed with severe obstructive sleep apnoea, a condition caused by enlarged tonsils or adenoids that block the airways during sleep, causing long pauses in breathing or apnoea. Just like this little boy, Julian was only three years old.

Researchers at the Ritchie Centre, Hudson Institute of Medical Research, have shown that children with obstructive sleep apnoea often have trouble concentrating at school and can be very disruptive in class.

After the sleep study, Julian had his tonsils surgically removed, which is the recommended treatment for children with these problems.

Thanks to the kind and generous support of people like you, researchers at the Ritchie Centre are pioneering important research into the long-term effects of this surgical treatment to help more children.

Three years after his surgery, Julian returned to the Sleep Centre for a second overnight study which confirmed that his breathing during sleep is now normal, and as a result, his daytime behaviour and concentration have improved dramatically.

Natalie says the transformation in Julian was immediate – and the results have been lasting.

“Julian was a different little boy after his surgery”, she said.

We all know that sleep is important. But sadly, disorders like Julian’s often go undiagnosed, despite around 40 per cent of children having problems with their sleep. More research into these childhood sleep problems is urgently needed to educate health professionals and parents about these difficulties.

You can help give more children like Julian the best start in life by making a donation to our life-changing research into paediatric sleep. All donations in Australia are tax deductible.

The end of the financial year is fast approaching, please make your donation now to help thousands of children reach their full potential.

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