Imagine losing one of your twins & then living in fear of losing the other. That was the reality for Irene & her baby boy Jamie. And that’s also where Kids West as a charity is there to support families in need.
July, 2015, 22 weeks into her pregnancy with twins, Irene was hospitalised at Blacktown for a shortened cervix, which meant the threat of early labour. She went into labour early (25 weeks) and due to no beds for the twins at Westmead, delivered at John Hunter Hospital, near Newcastle.
Being far from home was difficult as there was still bills coming in at home plus paying for food and petrol whilst staying in Newcastle for a month. Irene & her partner were then told Jamie’s twin brother Jesse had meningitis and a large thrombus (blood clot) in his heart. Jesse passed away at only 19 days of age.
Jamie had a PDA (open chamber of heart which needed to be closed otherwise blood will go to his lungs). Medication did not close the hole so the family were then transferred to the Children’s Hospital at Westmead for surgery.
A week later the family held a funeral for Jesse. The funeral service and plaque cost over $6000.
Jamie was hospitalised for 165 days in three Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICU’s). During this time the family incurred the cost for petrol/parking to visit him twice a day (anyone who has had a loved on in Westmead knows all about this expense), bought two breast pumps, vitamins and medication (Motilium) to assist Irene with her poor milk supply.
After a sleep study, Jamie was diagnosed with Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA) along with his other medical conditions: Extreme prematurity and low birth weight, chronic lung disease, reflux, anaemia and Retinopathy of Prematurity (eyes). The family then needed to organise a CPR course in case it was required. Jamie’s treatment is using a CPAP machine and Apnoea monitor at home. His medications are for vitamins, iron and reflux. For feeds, he requires special formula and thickener. He is also on a special teat for bottle feeds (Sepal).
Before rooming in and discharge, the family witnessed Jamie struggle with his CPAP mask, he stopped breathing and turned blue around the mouth. On top of everything this was so incredibly frightening and as you can imagine it’s hard for parents to just return to work whilst we feel he needs to be monitored carefully. They are terrified of losing another son.
How did YOU help us, Kids West as a charity to support this family?
Kids West Charity has given the family the money the needed to purchase a CPAP Machine, mask and Apnoea Monitor hire (Total $1745). In reality it’s a small token gesture considering the costs that this family has endured but it’s the helping hand they need.
Without your support of Kids West we can’t make any of this happen. We are at the grass roots of struggling families day in, day out providing whatever we can to those who need us.
To support this family & the many others like them we ask, no, we implore you to follow this link & make a donation. Think of it like this – you’ve been meaning to give up that third cup of coffee a day for a while now. That’s great – do something your body will thank you for. Why not do something a total stranger in need will thank you for by donating those dollars to a charity that believes we all deserve the best start in life.