A few weeks ago, my 2-year-old got croup. He’d never had a respiratory illness before, so I was really alarmed.
Croup, for those have never been up close and personal with it, makes the airway narrower so it is harder to breathe.
My little guy woke up in the middle of the night, coughing in short, sharp ‘barks’ and struggling to breath in. We were in Fiji on holidays and I was slightly panicked – I really have never been more excited to leave a vacation!
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I couldn’t wait to fly back to Australia, where we’d have the $2 billion Gold Coast University Hospital at our doorstep, with all of its cutting edge medical equipment and highly trained staff. We made it home safe and sound within 48 hours and he was quickly on the mend.
But, those 48 hours were filled with anxiety.
I hope he’s okay; I hope he doesn’t get worse; I wish I could swap places with him.
Fortunately, it quickly passed, and we’re now back to cheeky games, whingey nappy changes and elongated dinner battles.
This week I learnt about Clara, a beautiful little Gold Coast girl just a few months younger than my boy. Clara wasn’t feeling herself, which her parents put down to the usual toddler causes.
“We thought she probably was just miserable due to separation anxiety, multiple teething, and starting daycare,” they share.
As it turns out, Clara was actually very ill. She has been diagnosed with a rare variant of leukaemia, one that “doesn’t have quite as good a prognosis”.
“It is far too early to know what will happen, but she hasn’t had as good a response to the chemotherapy as we might have liked at this stage,” her dad, Steve, writes.
“She is my special little girl; the one who often gets weak at the knees and drops to the floor overwhelmed when she sees me… she has to make it!”
I can remember what it was like to worry about my son’s health for just 48 hours. I can only imagine what it would be like to have that worry continue; it would require gut-wrenching amounts of strength, patience and courage to keep that anxiety at bay.
I don’t know the family at all, but from one Gold Coast family to another, I felt compelled to make a small donation; if you can spare a dollar or two, swing past their page. Even $2 will help chip away at their daily hospital parking fees, so they can spend less time worrying about paying their bills, and more time focusing their energy on little Clara.