The families of two cousins who experienced life-saving surgery at Melbourne's Royal Children's Hospital are planning to help fundraiser for the hospital.By Ivy Wise
Noah Mundie and cousin Kale King were only hours old when they needed life-saving surgery at Melbourne’s Royal Children’s Hospital.
For Noah, it was eight years ago when doctors had to connect his windpipe to his foodpipe and close a hole in his heart, while it was last month for Kale, after he was born with part of his bowel protruding from the umbilical cord.
Noah doesn’t experience any more problems and only needs a check-up every two years.
Kale arrived home on Thursday after 19 days in hospital.
Noah’s parents Brett and Kym, who live in Bamawm and are expecting their fourth son in April, said they owed everything to the RCH.
Noah was born with rare congenital conditions known as Tracheo-Oesophageal Fistula (TOF) and Oesophageal Atresia (OA), where a section of the trachea (windpipe) is abnormally connected to the oesophagus (foodpipe).
He had corrective surgery when he was six hours’ old, a heart operation two weeks later and another to fix his reflux two weeks after that.
‘‘We lived there for six weeks,’’ Brett said.
‘‘They provided us with accommodation, food for Kym and travel costs were taken care of. They were absolutely wonderful.’’
Brett, who underwent crucial eye surgery at the RCH when he was a boy, and sister Lianna, who also spent time at the hospital when she was young, decided in January to register for the annual RCH Run For The Kids fundraiser on March 24.
‘‘They’ve done everything for us. This is the least we can do,’’ Brett said.
‘‘They really care.’’
Kym’s father and sister Rod and Kate Cairns will join Brett and Lianna in the run, with residents able to support them by making donations on the team’s fundraising website at http://www.everydayhero.com.au/reach—for—the—stars—1
A teacher at Echuca South Primary School, Brett is one of several staff from the school taking part in the run.
Since the team formed, the members have developed an even greater commitment to the support of the RCH, with Rod’s grandson Kale, born in Echuca on February 2, flown to Melbourne for immediate surgery to correct a condition known as Exomphalos.
Parents Jessie and Daniel King — Rod’s daughter and son-in-law — said Kale was operated on that night and stayed there for 16 days, before being transferred to Bendigo for three nights.
‘‘In Melbourne, we stayed in the hospital for eight nights and then Ronald McDonald House until we left,’’ Daniel said.
‘‘They were amazing and completely looked after us.’’
Brett, Lianna, Rod and Kate have spent the past couple of months training for the 15km course around Melbourne, including over the Bolte Bridge and past Docklands.
‘‘It is a huge effort on all accounts, but it’s the least we can do as we have all been affected significantly through our time at the RCH,’’ Brett said.
‘‘Everyone has been affected by a son, daughter, niece, nephew, grandchild or family friend that has needed the assistance of the RCH, whether it has been life-saving operations through to accessing the support to deal with different situations.’’
The team is aiming to raise at least $2000 and encouraged district residents to contribute to the appeal.
‘‘The RCH services this area as much as any other area. Countless families in Echuca and surrounds have received support and care without having to ask for it,’’ Rod said.
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