This Christmas, babies like Scarlett will be fighting one of the leading causes of death of Australian babies.
Scarlett’s mum Lisa knows this struggle too well. Last Christmas Scarlett was battling for her life in hospital. Lisa wanted to share her story with you as a friend of HeartKids.
Christmas is my favourite time of the year because it is all about family. In 2017, I knew our Christmas was going to be something I’ve never experienced, being alone with Scarlett in hospital. Scarlett’s dad was at home looking after Xander, Scarlett’s little brother, who was only little and not able to spend much time in hospital as Scarlett was so sick.
Scarlett’s first Christmas was going to be in hospital.
To bring the Christmas spirit to Scarlett I decorated her cot and windows with tinsel and put a felt Christmas tree on the wall.
On Christmas Eve the fantastic nurses on the ward offered to mind Scarlett while I went home to be with my family. We opened some presents with Xander because I was devastated that I wasn’t going to be at home with him on Christmas morning. I took some presents back to the hospital so that I could open them with Scarlett on Christmas morning.
I woke up on Christmas morning and for the first time since I was young, I was overwhelmed with the excitement of Santa. Santa came to visit Scarlett through the night and left presents for her as well as a beautiful note for her and her brother.
Tears instantly started flowing when I saw it.
During morning rounds the cardiologist in charge granted us a day pass! Scarlett was allowed to go home for a few hours! I was in shock but when I heard him making plans for it to take place I wanted to throw my arms around the Doctor in appreciation.
It was Scarlett’s first time off hospital grounds; what a special Christmas present for her!
For the first time in two months, Scarlett was united with her family at home!
We enjoyed every precious moment with her at home.
Leaving home at the end of the day was not pleasant however I was able to go back to the hospital with some joy in my heart. A feeling I hadn’t felt for quite a while.
After three traumatic months in hospital, Scarlett was finally discharged. But her family’s journey was far from over as they waited for her next surgery. Scarlett pulled through that and now is a gorgeous, happy 1 year old. Scarlett especially loves cuddles. She loves giving and getting kisses and is now trying to crawl so she loves exploring whatever is in her sight. Scarlett loves to eat on her own and won’t let anyone feed her.
HeartKids is there for families like Scarlett’s, providing support, care packages, accommodation, financial assistance and information. This Christmas, we want to give all HeartKids families who are in hospital a Bedside Basket of Joy to help provide a small measure of comfort during this tough time.
As Lisa says,
To me, HeartKids is my lifeline. They are family. I have always been made to feel important, heard and valid in my concerns and upsets. I get emotional when I think of HeartKids because it has been such an important part of our journey.
I cannot express the gratitude and appreciation I have for the support we have received. The support network knows exactly what we’re going through because they themselves have experienced it as they are fellow ‘heart’ families.
I find a lot of comfort and reassurance knowing that they are not trying to console us without really knowing what it’s like. HeartKids is a wonderful community that I am so grateful to be a part of.”
As a friend of HeartKids will you give a special Christmas gift this year to help provide Christmas Cheer to around 200 families who will be spending Christmas in hospital?