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Emma is a bright and bubbly seven-year-old, but for the tense days and weeks following her birth, her parents Richard and Jo weren’t sure she’d be able to enjoy life like any other child.
Today Richard, Jo and Emma, as well as Emma’s big brother Sam and grandmother Loris, visited Mater Foundation Brisbane to share their experience, and present Mater's Neonatal Critical Care Unit (NCCU) with a poem Richard wrote at Emma’s hospital bedside seven years ago.
On the day Emma was born, there weren’t many indications of the challenges to come. Aside from a small complication prior to birth resulting in Emma being born via caesarean section, there’d been no sign things were amiss.
Despite being born full-term, Emma weighed just two kilograms, and received some extra care in the days following her birth to help her grow.
At four days old, Emma started having seizures and was rushed to Mater’s NCCU where doctors found a blood clot on her brain.
For three long weeks, Jo, Richard and Emma’s grandparents spent day and night by Emma’s bedside while Mater's specialist neonatal doctors and nurses worked to relieve Emma’s blood clot and increase her stability.
But Richard and Jo consider themselves some of the lucky ones—one of the families in NCCU who eventually got to experience the joy of taking their newborn baby home with them.
Richard wrote most of the poem (see below) at Emma’s bedside on one of the long nights he spent in NCCU, and in the past few weeks he decided to finish writing it from where he and his family are today—at home together with their happy and healthy seven-year-old.
Richard and the family presented their poem to NCCU’s Nursing and Midwifery Director, Lynne Elliot, in the hope that it can provide hope to families currently spending time in NCCU, and to thank the nurses and doctors for the wonderful work they do.
Through Clouded Contemplation
Of unimagined fright
Teams filled with devotion
Guide us into the night
From days of devastation
Towards a shining light
Helpless times of frustration
To one of sheer delight
Through gracious cared attention
The Mater’s own Miracles Has
Made our little one alright
- Richard, Loving Father of Emma Jane ©
If you have your own Mater Little Miracles story to share, please contact us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org