The other night at Starship Hospital a total stranger didn't quite give me the shirt off his back - but it was close.

You see, we had just arrived in the waiting room with Mia who was running a high fever, had been vomiting, and had broken out into an awful all-over body rash. She was hardly recognisable, with her top lip so swollen it was touching her nose, and the rest of her face looked bruised as if she had been beaten up.

Then, as Libby was filling out the form and I was cuddling Mia, out came another power chuck. It went all over the floor and all over me. I was pretty immune to the potent stench of my little darling's vomit by that stage - having already been the target twice - so I wasn't too fussed. But this kind Samaritan, who was in the waiting room with his son who had done something nasty to his leg, offered to loan me a shirt.

"I've got a shirt in the car if you want it. We thought we might be here all night so I brought a spare change of clothes. You can post it back to me," he smiled.

I politely declined his offer because I had a jersey to put on. But what a top bloke.

In fact, there were many top people at Starship that night. From the quietly spoken and thorough doctor (who, I have to say, did look like she was about 16-years-old), to the lovely orderly who brought round tea and coffee.

This was our first emergency trip to hospital with Mia, which is pretty good going after nearly three years. We think ourselves lucky because it makes you feel for parents with very sick children.

We were also - kind of - lucky Mia did that giant hurl in the waiting room because it meant we got seen quickly. Nothing like a rash and vomiting to incite action.

It turns out it was a gastro bug and on top of that she had an allergic reaction to what we suspect was an insect or spider bite.

While the poor wee sausage was upset - even pleading "I want to get out of here" a number of times (she must've learnt that saying from her Mum) - she did everything the doctors and nurses asked her.

You've gotta feel proud of your kids when they step up and are brave like that.

It was 3am when we finally got the okay to go home (thankfully with Mia sleeping soundly and her lips back to a semi-normal size).

I'm sure not everyone has that sort of slick and satisfying of a Starship experience, but for us it was a saviour at a stressful time.

I sure as hell don't want to end up back there - touch wood - but it's also nice to know it's there.