Ollie's Appeal

Please join the Women’s & Children’s Hospital Foundation in a special campaign.

Kerry and James know what it is like to see your newborn baby fight for their life.

They know how terrifying it is, how painful it is, and how wrong it is that someone so tiny has the odds stacked against them.

Not once, but twice, these brave, inspiring parents have seen a little child of theirs battle for survival.

And that’s why they are sharing their family’s incredible story and helping us raise $56,300 to buy an urgently needed new ventilator for the Women’s and Children’s Hospital.

Please will you give your gift now to help save lives by purchasing a vital piece of equipment that supports a critically ill baby’s breathing? Click here to donate now. 

Harri – Kerry and James’ fourth child – was born prematurely at 33 weeks. He was tiny – less than two kilos. After three weeks in their local hospital, this brave little boy had overcome his feeding problems and was gaining weight.

Kerry and James thought the worst was over. Kerry cried with relief when Harri first drank a whole 80 ml bottle, without leaving a drop. After a couple of weeks at home, he passed three kilos and seemed to be getting stronger every day.

But then one morning, Kerry and James woke up. There was no little cry from Harri’s cot to say he was hungry and awake. There was no sound at all.

Harri wasn’t breathing. His mum tried desperately to revive him while his dad called for help. When the paramedics arrived, they took over.

“They tried for so long, but at 8.30am, we were told there was nothing else they could do. Harri was gone – he’d grown his angel wings.”

Kerry and James lost their son suddenly, unexpectedly and without explanation to SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome), which is also known as cot death. It’s a condition that isn’t fully understood, and what Kerry and James didn’t know at the time was that Harri was at increased risk because other family members have central sleep apnoea, which can mean breathing stops during sleep for a few seconds.

The whole family suffered a huge loss, and a kind of pain that there are no words to describe – except to say it never, ever goes away.

A little while later, Kerry discovered she was pregnant. And that brought the family together in hope, but also fear.

The pregnancy was complicated and Ollie was delivered early by C-section.

Minutes after being born, he stopped breathing.

The medical team acted quickly to revive him and he was taken into intensive care where our nursing team did everything possible for him.

Please will you give a gift now to help newborn babies like Ollie who are fighting for their lives?

In the following days, it became clear that Ollie had a heart problem that urgently needed surgery and he was flown to Melbourne.

Just before the operation, Kerry and James kissed their little boy and held his tiny hand – not knowing whether they would lose him too.

But Ollie eventually pulled through.

He was treated at the Women’s and Children’s Hospital for a complex combination of problems that make his future uncertain. He has some brain damage, as well as central sleep apnoea.

And with your support, we can continue fighting for him and other children like him.

Please send your gift now to help buy an urgently needed piece of equipment – a ventilator to help babies who are fighting for each breath, and fighting for their lives.

Kerry and James have been through so much, but they are supporting our appeal, because they know what it is like to see your tiny baby lose the battle for life. They don’t want any other family to feel the ever-lasting grief that they have suffered.

And with Ollie, they have seen a child fight back against the odds. Every day with him is precious.

With your help, we can give more babies the support they need to keep fighting and keep winning.

Please donate now.