Doreen mum Tracey Disantedicola is urging locals to hit the pavement this month in support of premature babies.
Tracey gave birth to son Jordan in December, 2020, at 24 weeks gestation. Jordan’s due date was in April, 2021.
Tracey said it was a difficult road for the family as soon as Jordan was born.
“He had to be resuscitated,” she said.
“In his second day of life, he had a massive bleed on his lungs.
“The doctors said that they didn’t know where he got his second wind from, but he survived.
“On his twelfth day, he got really unwell and had to be taken to the Royal Children’s Hospital (RCH)… we were told that he might not survive being transported.
“Jordan spent four, nearly five, months in the [RCH].
“He had perforated intestines.
“I think he had about one surgery every second day.
“Twenty centimetres of his bowel has been removed in total.
“Because of that, he can’t eat certain foods – we can’t feed him like you’d feed a fullterm baby.”
Jordan has undergone 12 surgeries since his birth.
Tracey said COVID-19 restrictions impacted the ability of her family and friends to provide support.
“Me and my partner, we sort of just grouped together,” she said.
“Because of COVID, no one could come and see what was going on. No one could come and see how Jordan was doing.
“It’s a different world. It’s a rollercoaster.
“You can go from the baby having a really good day one day, and declining the next, where it becomes touch and go… it’s heartbreaking.
“It sort of teaches you to not get too excited.
“Obviously with COVID, there’s yet another level of ‘have you washed your hands, have you been tested, have you been safe?
“He’s already got compromised lungs, so if he gets COVID, he’d be in a really bad way.”
While family and friends have had to stay away, Tracey and her husband have been able to turn to the Life’s Little Teasures Foundation for support.
“We spent Christmas Day, Easter, Mother’s Day, in the hospital, and what these volunteers do… it’s just so thoughtful,” she said.
“Jordan got a little gift bag that was ‘my first Christmas’ and it was so lovely.”
This month, the foundation is hosting its annual Walk for Prems – virtually.
The event raises money to help the foundation and its volunteers to support “prem parents“.
Tracey said the foundation made sure support is always available.
“You’re not alone. There’s always light at the end of the tunnel,“ she said.