The breathtaking mural helping Royal patients relax

The Royal Hospital for Women is helping patients to relax with a striking, wall-sized mural of one of Sydney’s favourite ocean swimming pools.

The photograph – taken by photographer Dallas Kilponen – is of a lone swimmer at Mahon Pool in Maroubra, which Dallas took using a drone. It has been blown up to cover an eight-metre square wall and aims to relax patients before having a mammogram in the NSW Women’s Breast Centre.

The image, which was enlarged by wallpaper manufacturer Tom Staiger, is part of an upgrade of the centre, featuring a new Hologic Tomosynthesis mammogram machine, funded by The Royal Hospital for Women Foundation. The Foundation raised more than $560,000 for the new machine at their annual black-tie fundraising dinner, BAZAAR in Bloom.

The machine will reduce procedure time dramatically, allowing more women to be treated at the centre, which cares for more than 2,500 women a year. The patients are at a high risk of breast cancer due to their family history or genetic status, or who have recently been diagnosed with breast cancer.

Trish O’Brien, Chief Executive, The Royal Hospital for Women Foundation, said breast diagnostic assessment is often complex, time consuming and expensive.

“Women accessing this service are often highly anxious. The new machine will reassure them that they are being treated with the very best equipment and now they’ll be able to relax a little bit too thanks to this wonderful image.”

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women in Australia – aside from non-melanoma skin cancer – and the second most common cancer to cause death in women.
“Breast cancer has a remarkably good success story – simply and purely because of our ability to detect the disease at an early stage,” Ms O’Brien said.  

“If the disease is caught early on, through the use of a mammogram machine, the five-year survival rate is 91 per cent. That’s an incredible statistic we will be able to achieve with this machine.”

NSW Women’s Breast Centre staff members: Helen Conlon, Gill Neil & Fiona Kilponen