That’s why Mater matters
The term ‘Mater Little Miracle’ is embodied in the story of baby Moira Walsh, born at just 23+3 weeks and weighing 546 grams.
Moira didn’t take her first breath until she was 12 weeks old.
Until then, she’d relied on a specialist ventilator to push air into her tiny lungs, 24 hours a day. Without it, she could have died within minutes.
When mum Ashlee’s waters broke, she was terrified. At the time, she was only 23+3 weeks pregnant.
“We thought we'd lost her… Most people are told that anything under 24 weeks is not viable. We were just thinking the worst,” Ashlee said.
Soon afterwards, Moira came into the world, fighting for life, where she stayed at Mater’s Neonatal Critical Care Unit (NCCU) for the next 124 days.
“She was kicking and trying her hardest to breathe, but she was still too small for that,” Ashlee said.
“I could touch her hand and that was about it,” Ashlee recalls. “She was so small that if I placed my hand on her, it was like I was giving her a hug”.
For the next three months, Moira fought hard for her life. After twelve weeks in intensive care, Moira took her very first unassisted breath.
“What they're doing is a miracle and it's allowing people to have miracles. Without that team, without the machines, without everything in NCCU, we wouldn't have Moira.”
“It really is a mind-blowing thing. Those first days, even weeks, it was an hour-by-hour thing.”
Ashlee and Ben remain incredibly grateful for the life-saving support Moira received and have become outspoken advocates for increased fundraising and awareness.
“Supporting Mater means research, training, equipment -all those things mean she is here today,” Ashlee said.
“We are among the lucky ones. Our little girl came home.”
Ashlee and Ben express gratitude and ‘give back’ to Mater as advocates for increased fundraising and awareness for Mater Little Miracles.