This campaign was started to raise much needed funds for two organisations that make a radical difference to the quality of life for children in our community.
The Sydney Children's Hospital Foundation
The Starlight Children's Foundation.
Inspired by the care they gave for Zoey Donnelly, our goal is to raise $10,000 for each organisation.
Zoey lost her battle at 3 and a half months of age. Her entire life was spent in hospital as she wasn't well enough to come home. We discovered after her passing she had a rare genetic condition, in its most severe form. It was something we were not expecting nor could we of picked it up in utero.
While we planned for her life, we knew nothing would hold her back and that she would ultimately change the lives of all she encountered, she would just need a little help along the way. Our job as her family, as her community, was to be there to help her.
Though her life was brief we know she will still impact the lives of her community.
We still want to help her. So this is how we will do it.
At the Sydney Children's Hospital, babies and children on breathing support require multiple blood tests a day to monitor their blood gases. The hospital has a machine called a Transcutaneous Monitor, which could eradicate the need to prick for blood, as the machine works by applying a sensor on the skin (like a sticker). Unfortunately the sensors are expensive and other small parts of the machine expire. We would like to purchase these much needed parts to avoid having to do regular painful blood tests on young children who need breathing support.
Starlight inspires children everyday to laugh and play and creates positive experiences for families in hospital. However many children can't get out of bed and are unable to visit the Starlight Express room. In SCH there is a Starlight TV channel where Captain Starlight will broadcast live throughout the day. Kids call in from their bedphones to join in the games, request music videos and movies and win prizes. However many times the Captain's microphone would cut out or sound would come through distorted. We'd like to update their sound equipment to give a better experience to our bed-ridden buddies.
Our goal is a big one. But every journey starts with a single step in the right direction.
We sincerely thank you for your contribution, no matter the size.
We hope to see you on July 1st for our Teddy Bears Picnic!
12pm, Abbott Rd Soccer Fields, North Curl Curl
(Don't forget your teddy bears!)
To learn more about SCH click here
To learn more about Starlight click here
To learn more about Zoey Donnelly, read below.
Zoey Emilia Donnelly was born on the 2nd of February 2017 to two devoted parents.
She loved to hold hands, get kisses on her cheeks and explore different textures in her hands. She could self settle and sleep through anything. A perfect baby.
Around 30 weeks gestation, we discovered our child may have some minor complications, which we believed she would outgrow. To our suprise our daughter entered the world hypotonic and with a whisper cry. She spent her first days of life inside a humidicrib, fed through a tube, her breathing supported by a mask that capped her head and flattened her ears. She was only allowed one hour-long cuddle per day. We changed her nappies and bathed her with cotton balls through the arm holes of her incubator.
As we discovered more about our child's condition we realised just how little we knew about it. The doctors were unable to diagnose her or provide a treatment. We always had faith that with exercise our daughter would heal. Sure enough, depsite doctor's prognosises, her peripheral muscles strengthened slowly over time.
At 9 weeks of age we moved from NICU to the Sydney Children's Hospital and we were excited to be getting closer to home.
As she aged we identified an additional complication. Her lungs were underdeveloped and compiled with her muscle weakness, this left her extremely susceptible to illness and aspirations.
On the 16th May, at 103 days old, Zoey took her last breathe, as a combination of pneumonia and 2 collapsed lungs took their toll on her exhausted little body.
She overcame more than most people endure in a lifetime, and after every invasive examination she would be back to her inquisitive self, exploring her world and enjoying her parent's cuddles.
Though her life was short, we believe it will continue to be impactful. The support we received through all stages of her care by the staff at the Children's Hospital was second to none. We were provided with medical training, emotional support and our daughter was truly welcomed and loved.
The Starlight Children's Foundation makes an incredible difference to lives of children and parents in hospital. Eyes light up as Captain Starlight enters the room. They run an internal tv channel and also provide experiences for parents, such as free professional hairstyling for mums on mother's day. It is a huge part of what makes the Children's Hospital feel like a home.
As Zoey's parents, our hope is that we can provide donations to allow these services to continue the work they do at the highest standard and share positive experiences. This is Zoey's legacy, thank you for sharing in it.
(To know more visit the Zoey Emilia page on facebook)
- Maggie de Vera
- Laura Hill
- Laura Hamilton
- Adrian Juarez
- Jacquie Dave
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