Figtree parents Keti and Pano Tzolakidis have two little miracles.
Sons Luka and Dion were both born 10 weeks premature and spent the first three months of their lives in hospital, battling to survive.
Today the cheeky 18-month and four-year-old boys are happy and healthy and the Tzolakidis’ want to raise awareness of an organisation which helped them through those tough times.
Miracle Babies Foundation is a national organisation that helps support the 48,000 sick or premature babies born in Australia each year who require the help of a neonatal intensive care unit or special care nursery.
The foundation’s Miracle Month of May campaign raises awareness, and funds, to support those newborns – 27,000 who are born premature and up to 1000 who lose their fight for life.
‘’When your baby is born premature it’s really scary – and a lot of that is fear of the unknown,’’ Mrs Tzolakidis said.
‘’Miracle Babies Foundation social workers come into the hospitals and give you advice and information, and some idea of what to expect.
‘’They help you throughout your journey, providing support and resources at such an overwhelming time.’’
The couple’s journey started four-and-a-half years ago, when Luka was born at 29 weeks, six days, weighing a tiny 1.69 kilograms.
‘’I had kidney and liver function failure which led to him being born so premature and he spent 10 weeks in the Royal Women’s Hospital at Randwick and two weeks at Wollongong Hospital,’’ Mrs Tzolakidis said.
‘’He was on a breathing ventilator and there were lots of ups and downs – he stopped breathing and had to be resuscitated – but he was finally able to come home.
‘’Then Dion was born at exactly 29 weeks and six days too – six days after Luka’s birthday – as I had placenta previa, and we had to go through it all again.’’
The foundation provides support services at neonatal intensive care units and special care nurseries at hospitals nationwide, including Wollongong Hospital.
To support the organisation visit www.miraclebabies.org.au
How you can help
Miracle Babies Foundation need funds to continue to provide vital family support services for the 48,000 families affected each year.
$30 will provide a family with our NICU Survival Pack – education and support resources for families in hospital.
$30 will provide a family with an Emergency Care Pack – emergency hygiene supplies for families that find themselves unexpectedly delivering their baby or a distance from home.
$200 can support four families with a memory box when their baby passes away and 24-hour access to support.
Just $67 will provide a family with complete access to all resources and 24-hour support.