Leigh Buchan

Leigh and Robbie
Leigh and Robbie

Swimming for a cause: Leigh Buchan raises more than $10,000 for Perth Children’s Hospital Foundation


Leigh Buchan, geoscience data specialist in ConocoPhillips’ Australia West business unit, participated in the 3.6-kilometer Busselton Jetty Swim 2018 on February 11. With the encouragement of his coworkers, Leigh overcame his aversion to open water and raised over $10,000 for the Perth Children’s Hospital Foundation, the institution that helped save the life of his three-year-old grandson, Robbie.

At just five months old, Robbie contracted meningococcal B septicemia, a life-threatening illness. He spent two months in the pediatric intensive care unit and an additional 16 months in the burns ward at Princess Margaret Hospital to treat the effects of the infection. The disease destroyed tissue in his arms and legs, resulting in amputations of all four limbs. However, doctors managed to retain enough limb length to allow Robbie to eventually be suitable for the fitting of prosthetics.

While Leigh says he can never repay the medics who were by Robbie’s side while he was on the burns ward, he has saluted them by fundraising in the Busselton Jetty Swim.

Leigh walking on beach at finish
Leigh exits the water at the race’s finish.

“I had two goals: to finish and to swim freestyle the entire 3.6 kilometers,” said Leigh. “I achieved both, completing the race in one hour, 35 minutes. More importantly, I exceeded my fundraising goal of $10,000 with a current total of a little over $12,000, with donations still rolling in. I’m so proud to give something back to the incredible people who not only saved Robbie’s life but went above and beyond to give him the best possible quality of life.”

beach scene at start of race
Leigh at the start of the race