Mater little miracle inspires Dad to run for the cause

Mater little miracle inspires Dad to run for the cause

At 38 years of age, Andrew Carlson is your typical keen runner, but his journey to participate in this year’s Brisbane Times City2South is anything but straight forward. 

In 2013 Andrew and his wife were expecting their second child and at 26 weeks, Melina went into labour. Within three hours their daughter Amelia (Millie) was born, weighing just over a kilogram. 

“Melina didn’t have time to receive steroids to help develop Amelia’s lungs so she required oxygen when she was born,” Andrew said. 

Amelia was admitted to Mater Mothers’ Hospitals’ Neonatal Critical Care Unit (NCCU) and it was there she spent 79 days on oxygen and remained on oxygen for a further four months at home.  

Andrew said it was such a stressful time for the whole family but they felt lucky compared to some other parents whose babies were in the unit, as they were far from home and their babies required further treatment. 

“You never want anyone else to have to experience it but I’m the biggest advocate of the staff in Mater’s NCCU—they are incredible, and I want others to know just how special they are.”

This experience has inspired Andrew to raise money for Mater Littles Miracles in this year’s Brisbane Times City2South being held this Sunday, to support the 2000 babies receiving life-saving treatment at Mater’s NCCU each year.  

“I can truly say that Amelia’s experience and the staff at Mater’s NCCU have changed my life in so many positive ways, he said. 

Andrew himself was diagnosed with brain cancer 12 months ago and he has undergone brain surgery, chemotherapy and radiation to be healthy enough to run in the event this year.  

“I started to run and get fit when Millie was born.  The whole cancer experience taught me not to take life for granted.  I was fit and healthy before being diagnosed with cancer which has helped me in my recovery from surgery and treatment.

“I had actually signed up to City2South last year but I had to pull out due to my diagnosis,” he said. 

While Andrew is still facing the disease, he has been training whenever possible in preparation for this year’s 14 km run.  

“I would not have started running again if it wasn’t for Millie and the medical team at Mater who cared for her, making me realise how precious a life is.” he said. 

“I want to raise as much money as I can for Mater Little Miracles which is such an important cause to not only my family but for many whose babies spend time in NCCU.”

On event day, Andrew will be cheered on by his wife, Millie and two other children, Fletcher and Freya. 

To support Andrew visit here.



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