A Benalla boy will start school next year after surviving being delivered three months early.By Angela Townsend
For young Joshua Reed, finishing kindergarten and heading off to school is a massive milestone and one his parents, Kristin and Tim, thought they may never see.
Watching Josh, who turns six next month, playing with his kinder mates there is no inkling of the tough battle he fought after being born an incredible three months early.
Five-year-old Joshua Reed with kinder teachers Marlene Holt and Lisa Mim.
Weighing a tiny 830
Ventilated for the first 25 hours of his life, Josh’s left lung collapsed, seeing him attached to a breathing machine for a further six weeks.
Baby Josh battled a series of lung infections, spending seven weeks in a humidicrib, and a total of nine weeks in the Mercy’s neo-natal unit. It was three days before his parents could touch him in his special crib, and five days before he experienced his first cuddle.
Joshua was transferred to Wangaratta in early February and was finally taken home four weeks later, at a healthy full-term weight of 3
Mrs Reed said it was a big milestone to send her first child off to school.
Mr Reed has two older sons, Calape and Logon (now 13 and 12 respectively), and the couple has since added to the family with Cooper, 3, and Kiara 2.
Mrs Reed said that while Cooper was born a healthy full-term, Kiara made her arrival at 30 weeks, luckily with none of the problems her big brother experienced.
‘‘Josh’s done two years at kinder because I wasn’t ready to let him go .
‘‘I didn’t think we’d have him one hour, let alone this long.’’
Mrs Reed, who is currently Bernard Briggs Kindergarten president, said the school better be prepared for lots of involvement.
‘‘I’m just not going to let go easily after that,’’ she said.
‘‘It’s hard enough for any parent to send their child to school — but when you’ve had a shaky start, it’s a bit more of a challenge.’’
As for Josh, he hasn’t looked back. And now he is counting down the days to starting at Benalla 31 next year, saying his favourite subject is ‘‘drawing’’.
The budding artist experienced another milestone the night before meeting with the Ensign — he lost his first tooth and was excited to find a gold coin and note from the tooth fairy.
Kinder staff agree with Mrs Reed that Joshua is a ‘‘beautiful child’’; quietly confident and a pleasure to be around.
‘‘He’s got a brilliant sense of humour,’’ teacher Marlene Holt said. ‘‘We’re going to miss him a lot.’’
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