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The first sod was turned on the site of the next House for Life at Helensvale on Friday 30 November, which will see a Plantation Home built by volunteers and auctioned with proceeds going to Mater Little Miracles.
Construction will soon begin on the 2019 House for Life—a double-storey, 51-square custom-design house, situated in a new master planned community—The Surrounds.
More than $2.5 million has been raised through House for Life to date and with the land donated by Villawood Properties for the first time, it’s expected that a record amount will be reached.
Over the years, funds raised have helped many families whose babies require around-the-clock care in Mater Mothers' Hospitals' Neonatal Critical Care Unit (NCCU)—like the Spencer family.
At 20 weeks gestation, first-time-mum Jodie found out that one of her twins had intrauterine growth restriction which meant that she wasn’t adequately growing.
Jodie and her husband Shaun were given the devastating news that she might not survive.
“It was incredibly worrying as I had never been through something so stressful,” Jodie said.
At 27 weeks Jodie was diagnosed with pre-eclampsia which is a serious condition that causes the mother to have high blood pressure, and which also poses a risk to the baby.
She was put on bed rest at Mater Mothers’ Hospital and closely monitored by the Maternal Fetal Medicine team.
At 31 weeks and five days, the heart rate of the smaller twin Kyra had dropped and Jodie was rushed to the birth suite and given a second round of steroids and magnesium sulphate to help mature the babies’ lungs.
The twins were delivered by caesarean with Kyra weighing only 870 grams and Kensley was a healthier 1.6 kgs.
“I was so happy when I heard that both twins were crying when they were born,” Jodie said.
The twins were taken to NCCU and from that day they only improved.
“We were very lucky that they didn’t get any infections which are common for premature babies. It was even more surprising that they didn’t need any oxygen.
“The twins were only in NCCU for three weeks. The doctors couldn’t believe how well they were doing, in particular Kyra.”
Having turned one in September, the twins are doing remarkably well and are reaching their developmental milestones.
Jodie praised the care she received at Mater and looked forward to seeing the 2019 House for Life come to fruition.
“The care that we received at Mater was wonderful and the doctors never gave up on Kyra," she said.
“They worked so hard to keep the pregnancy going and to establish the ideal time for delivery to give each of the girls the best possible chance.
“Having been through this difficult journey, we now understand just how much Mater needs all the funds they can get to help sick and premature babies like Kensley and Kyra.”
Mater Foundation Executive Director of Philanthropy Lesley Ray said the team was looking forward to another successful House for Life.
“The House for Life project is truly a very special initiative that we are so appreciative to be a part of,” she said.
“Knowing that a team of dedicated volunteers will once again build an incredible home to be auctioned for our Mater Little Miracles program, is very humbling and on behalf of all the babies and their families cared for at Mater, we say ‘thank you’.
“We all look forward to the House for Life auction day, when we witness a beautiful Plantation Home sold to a family, knowing that every dollar is going to babies who require specialised care at Mater’s Neonatal Critical Care Unit.
“We sincerely like to thank Plantation Homes for their ongoing support of Mater Little Miracles and also Villawood Properties which have so kindly donated the land for this year’s campaign.”
The house boasts four bedrooms, four bathrooms, a large lounge room and gourmet kitchen, along with beautiful alfresco area and pool.
To find out more about House for Life 2019 visit www.houseforlife.com.au or watch this Prime 7 News clip below.