REBECCA O’Sullivan’s son Patrick spent more than a month in Shepparton Hospital after he was born eight weeks premature and weighing less than 2kg.
Now, seven-year-old Patrick and his mum have raised more than $1200 for this year’s Life’s Little Treasures to support families with premature babies.
“The support I received when I was in hospital was fantastic, I received a lot of information from Life’s Little Treasures foundation,” Mrs O’Sullivan said.
“It’s a tough time and you have no idea what you’re doing.”
“I hadn’t had any classes because it had been too early to start, and I was a first-time mum in GV Health — I had never been there before.”
Mrs O’Sullivan had been on her feet for 10 hours a day working in a kitchen before Patrick was born.
She came down with the flu and her doctor gave her a week off until she went into labour the next day.
“I was booked into GV Health through the midwife services in Kyabram — their sister hospital is in Shepparton. When I went into pre-term labour, GV Health was amazing at their special care nursery.”
Mrs O’Sullivan was injected with steroids to strengthen Patrick’s lungs while doctors held off her labour for four days.
“Patrick was very lucky in the end, he was quite a healthy baby even though he was born eight weeks early,” Mrs O’Sullivan said.
“He’s well and truly caught up with the rest of them now and he’s not looked back since.”
In his first two years Patrick hit all his milestones while Rebecca and her husband, Howard, prepared for his little sister, Olivia, to arrive.
“Olivia was classed as a high-risk pregnancy because of Patrick. It was quite risky, and she was well engaged as a baby and ready to go full-term in the end.”
Mrs O’Sullivan was told to go home and rest for nine weeks leading up to the pregnancy.
“I had so many doctors’ appointments and Olivia was in the right position — but if I hadn’t stopped work it could have been the same.”
Now, Patrick goes to St Joseph’s in Rochester with River Powles, who showed real heart recently when he walked out of Royal Children’s Hospital after open-heart surgery.
River rode his bike from the Rochy silos with almost 150 members of his community to raise funds for the Royal Children's Hospital, which saved his life.
This year the O’Sullivans will attend the 10th annual Walk for Prems in Nathalia on October 27 to raise funds for Life’s Little Treasures, Australia’s foremost charity dedicated to supporting the families of unborn babies born sick or prior to 37 weeks.
“Fundraising and participating in the Walk for Prems is my way of giving back for all the support and care we received," Mrs O’Sullivan said.
Search for ‘Team Patrick’ at walkforprems.org.au to donate today.