My daughter Cleo was born with a critical congenital heart defect called
Tetralogy of Fallot in February of this year - about 3 in 10,000 babies are born with it so it's rare.... you may have heard of this as 'coincidentally' Jimmy Kimmel's son was also born with TOF a few months ago. It means four issues of the heart. It is a life threatening defect and babies can need urgent medical care when they are born.
When Cleo was born rather than being discharged from hospital we were urgently ambulanced via NETS (the most amazing people) to Westmead Children's Hospital, and on Day 11 of her life underwent life saving surgery to insert a BT Shunt. This is the first of hopefully only 2 operations Cleo will have.
This time in hospital was the darkest of times for me, I still find it difficult to talk about it and to think back to these traumatic weeks where I didn't know what was going to happen to this precious little person in our life. I camped out at the hospital for the entire time, I shut down everything else in my life and I dedicated myself to Cleo and being by her bedside.
I held a vigil by her bedside talking to her, touching and kissing her, telling her I was with her every step of the way.
During her stay Cleo received extraordinary care and attention. She had a dedicated nurse that watched her, cared for her and monitored her.
I made some important promises to myself during this time, one of them was to make sure I gave back. And that I would do something that will help this extraordinary unit which had saved my daughter's life.
And so I decided to create a bracelet that symbolised the love and heartfelt care that we received, with this bracelet I can give back. This is my small way of doing something, and I would love your support.
This is Cleo being wheeled to surgery to have her operation. I can't remember taking this image, I was a wreck.
Each life support machine costs approx. $150,000+, there is a dedicated nurse per patient.... the equipment, the training, the years of expertise required - all costs a staggering amount. My beautiful Cleo was given world class care by her surgeon, her cardiologist and nursing team. This year the Grace Centre for New Born Care is celebrating 10 years. In this time the survival rate for critically ill newborns and premature babies has gone from 50% to in the high 90%. Which is an incredible achievement....
The bracelet I have designed has a sterling silver charm with a heart embossed on it. It is $50 and is available for purchase here and 100% (yes every single cent) of proceeds go to Grace Centre for New Born Care at Westmead Children's Hospital. Enter FREESHIP17 at check out for free local and international shipping with this bracelet.
And if you can please buy one or a few...they are beautiful, and a few stacked on the wrist looks amazing. !
Thank you for your support, it means so much to me and my family. Cleo is doing really well now - my little angel is rolling around already and about to start solids.
We have another major hurdle coming up but for now we are focusing on what we can do to help.
Thank you for your support,
Love Claire & Cleo.