12-year-old fundraising legend buys A.P.S. an ultrasound machine

The Animal Protection Society (A.P.S.) is the proud recipient of $7,000 thanks to five months of fundraising by Cookies for Charity legend, Seirosa Wallwork-Lamb.

The Society can now afford an ultrasound machine, which can be used in the clinic and on the road. 

Veterinarian, Dr. Harriet Thornton, told the Samoa Observer she has wanted proper diagnostic equipment for a long time, and is excited for the machine to arrive.

Ms. Wallwork-Lamb was inspired to support A.P.S. when her own dog, Oscar, couldn’t get the treatment he really needed without a thorough diagnosis. 

Oscar was actually an A.P.S. rescue dog.

“So I was thinking, what can I do about this?”

Enter dozens of Pavlovas, apple crumbles, pies her famous cookies, and two major donors in New Zealand: and she had raised $7000. 

Ms. Wallwork-Lamb said animals, and the work vets do are close to her heart. 

She is even entertaining become a vet or a doctor herself.

“Some people may not think it, but I believe that dogs are some of the best companions you can ever have. A dog will never break your heart, a dog will never backstab you. Dogs are very loyal.

“It makes me happy that somehow I can contribute to the animals here in Samoa.”

When she was born her parents, Su’a Hellene Wallwork and Travis Lamb already had a dog, she said, so she became the “little sibling.”

“I love animals, I think they are a very important part of our life."

The ultrasound machine should arrive in Samoa by the middle of June, from an Australian company called Medical Plus, who also contributed by subsidising the machine and all equipment down to just AUD$5000 (T$9,201), plus a lifetime of technical support.

Dr. Thornton said without technical expertise in Samoa all the time, that support means the ultrasound machine will be genuinely useful long-term.

“Obviously our biggest concern was getting the maintenance of the machine, and if we had any problems, getting someone on the island that is able to fix them is a nightmare.”

The machine will be used daily, Dr Thornton said, to plan for surgeries and treatments that A.P.S. previously had no way to plan for.

“We see dogs every single day that need some form of imaging we haven’t previously been able to do because we haven’t had the equipment.

“Before we had to go in blind, but we can plan beforehand. It’s going to make such a huge difference,” she said.

Ultrasound imaging visualises tissue rather than bones, which an x-ray machine does. Dr Thornton said it will help bring the A.P.S. clinic up to international standards too.

At just 12 years old, Ms. Wallwork-Lamb has baked her way into the hearts of many, especially the targets of her fundraising efforts. 

Last year, Samoa Observer’s Save the Child Fund and the Little Sisters of the Poor received $2000 each.

She has made all the calculations needed to make money from the baking venture, and makes time for the work after school hours, tutorial and homework.

“It’s the same as juggling school with sports,” she said.

“I love doing what I do. Sometimes I get tired, but then I think about the difference it’s going to make, and my family waking up to the house smelling of sugar.”

Miss Wallwork-Lamb is already planning ahead, with her sights set on the Goshen Trust as the recipient of her next fundraiser.

The Goshen Trust is a respite home for patients from the hospital’s Mental Health Unit. Miss Wallwork-Lamb said she has seen how mental health issues and disabilities are targets for bullying.

“In the morning, the seniors have to go look after the younger primary students,” she shared.

“There is this one little boy who is always having trouble with stuff and some kids always bully him. I don’t think that’s right that they bully him for not being able to do his schoolwork properly.”

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