Subiaco's Birth Suite caregivers running beyond the hospital walls

At St John of God Subiaco Hospital, the spirit of camaraderie and compassion extends far beyond the walls of the medical facility.

29 Apr 2024

Take Dionne for example, one of our dedicated midwives who is gearing up for the HBF Run for a Reason next month, not just as a personal challenge but also as a tribute to the resilience of her hospital family in the Birth Suite.

Starting out as a simple curiosity sparked by her youngest son’s trail running hobby, Dionne’s journey to long distance running flourished. What began as a means to connect with her son became a drive for pushing her limits while embracing the outdoors.

“Running, especially on trails, feels like a sip of fresh air – it’s strangely soothing, even though it’s exhausting and can be painful,” Dionne laughs.

From local trails to the stunning landscapes of Slovenia, Dionne has tackled distances that once seemed daunting, all while cherishing the bonding moments with her son.

Reflecting on her European trip, Dionne describes it as a rewarding experience.

“More than just the run, it was the invaluable one-on-one time spent with my youngest son, bonding over our shared interest and supporting each other through the highs and lows,” she says.

As she prepares for her upcoming half-marathon, Dionne’s motivation goes beyond personal achievement. It’s about honouring her fellow caregivers who are battling illnesses with courage and grace, reminding herself and others to seize each moment.

“You might have sore bits and pieces, but there’s always someone worse off than you are,” she says.

“I want to live out my days to the fullest, because so many people close to me can’t.” 

Dionne embodies the hospital’s values of compassion and respect with every stride she takes. Her dedication to her patients and fellow caregivers is reflected in her commitment to her training.

“Balancing marathon training with midwifery is challenging, but I know that if don’t take care of myself, I can’t give my best to others, and running allows me to decompress from the stresses of work,” she explains.

“No matter how tired I am after work, I will go for a run, even after a 12 hour shift,” she says.

“Just because I might be tired, doesn’t mean I can’t keep pushing myself; I know I'll need to tap into that inner strength during the half-marathon, especially when fatigue tries to hold me back."

With each stride, Dionne carries the memory of those who can't run themselves, adding a deeper purpose and gratitude to her training.

"Part of this is bucket-list driven, but it’s also influenced by seeing loved ones face health challenges,” she says.

“Life’s uncertainty teaches us to seize opportunities with the body, mind and health that we should be so grateful to have.”

“Waiting isn't an option. You have to commit and act, because tomorrow is never guaranteed."

While Dionne exemplifies the dedication and spirit of the hospital’s caregivers, she is not alone in her endeavour. Five others from the Birth Suite team, including Midwife Sinead Collins, are also participating in the HBF Run for a Reason.

“Having done two half-marathons last year, and the 12km for the HBF Run in 2023, I thought I would join in too,” Sinead says.

“I feel like running is a way for me to switch off from work, and I love the way it makes me feel after.”

Their collective participation showcases their drive to make a positive impact beyond their clinical roles.

Image of SJGSH Midwifes Dionne Hopkins and Sinead Collins

Left to right: St John of God Subiaco Hospital midwives Dionne Hopkins and Sinead Collins