You can play a vital role

Help keep Mater at the forefront of patient care, education and research

How your support is helping

Harvey's story

Claudine and Dave Fitzgibbon always planned for a big family. But after giving birth to a healthy girl in 2013, those plans went awry. 

Over the next three years they fell pregnant three times and each time their unborn baby was found to have spina bifida, a congenital defect of the spine that can lead to serious problems with mobility and brain function.

They reluctantly discontinued the first two pregnancies and by the time of the third diagnosis they were shattered. In desperation they turned to their doctor, asking: “Is there nothing else that we can do?”

This time the doctor held out a sliver of hope.

In-utero spinal surgery for spina bifida had just been performed in Australia for the first time at Mater Mothers’ Hospital.

While not a cure, it had been found in the US to improve the quality of life for babies suffering spina bifida.

Read full story