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Their kind donation simply said… “From Matthew, Charlie, and Owen, who have managed to rack up zero frequent flyer miles in your hallways two years in a row.”  With a family of three boys you might expect a few bumps and scrapes over time, however it’s never good to hear that children are frequent flyers to the children’s hospital, or to see familiar faces on the ward week after week, year after year.

When your child is sick, the worry, stress and fear can be overwhelming.  Sadly, like many others, Shannon and her boys are very familiar with Wellington Regional Children’s Hospital. 

It began with their oldest Charlie, when bouts of RSV and bronchiolitis had him hospitalised on two occasions.  But, as Shannon explained, with hindsight this was just good preparation for Matthew’s difficult health journey. 

Matthew on one of his many visits to the Children’s Hospital

Baby Matthew had things to do and places to be, arriving in the world a frightening 11 weeks early.  Matthew spent three worrying months in the care of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit team. After juggling the demands of young children along with time spent in hospital by their critically ill baby’s bedside, the family was thrilled when they could finally take their youngest home. 

However, less than 24 hours after being discharged, Shannon found her wee boy limp and blue from lack of oxygen.  Matthew had stopped breathing and had to be resuscitated by his dad.  Rushed back in to hospital he would spend a further month being cared for in the NICU until his lungs stabilised.

“He had a hard time regulating his breathing and was in and out of the Children’s Hospital for the first two and a half years of his life,” explains Shannon.  As a prem baby with a very rough start, Matthew still heads back to the Children’s Hospital for follow-up visits, but they are fewer and farther between, and much less scary for his mum and dad than overnight admissions.  “We’re very grateful for the care our boys have received (and the care us stressed out parents received, too!) and Owen and Charlie were always grateful for the outdoor play area when they came to visit.

We’re so pleased to hear that the boys are doing well now, and that some kind of normality has returned for Matthew and his family. 

Matthew, Charlie and Owen conquer the climb up Mt Kaukau!

Every year our Annual Street Appeal raises crucial funds for Wellington Regional Children’s Hospital. Sadly we had to cancel our appeal last week due to Covid.

Please help our children’s hospital to continue to provide the best possible care to Matthew and others like him by DONATING HERE.