Sharlene’s son Coopah and niece Darna have received specialist care at PMH since they were both little babies, which is why the family are fundraising in this year’s Big Walk.
Now seven years old, little Darna was born with hip dysplasia and has gone through many operations and bone grafting surgeries to help her walk. Her cousin, Coopah, was born with a Tracheoesophageal Fistula and severe Tracheomalacia.
“Coopah was taken in for surgery the day he was born and was in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit for the first three weeks of his life – because of his condition he kept having what are called ‘blue episodes’ where his airways would collapse and he couldn’t breathe,” Sharlene explains.
“He went in to hospital for another week when he was five weeks old, and again when he was six weeks old as one night I was breastfeeding him and he stopped breathing and my husband and I had to resuscitate him.
“After that he had an extended stay at PMH for four months. Our paediatric specialist was amazing and sought advice from a visiting UK specialist, and they decided Coopah might benefit from an operation called an aortopexy to lift his aorta into a sling to help take the pressure off his trachea.”
Since this life-saving operation, little Coopah has gone from strength to strength, although he continues to have treatment for other conditions at PMH.
“The staff at PMH have been nothing short of amazing for our family, and I can’t speak highly enough of the doctors and nurses who always went out of their way to help make sure our family felt supported and that we could manage if anything happened to Coopah or Darna even when we left hospital to go home,” she said.
“There are so many families with stories like ours, so we want to give back to help those who are going through it now or who might need the support of Perth Children’s Hospital in the future.”
Sharlene and her team kicked off their fundraising a few weeks ago by holding the “Jarrahdale Log Chop” event. They have a few more fundraising activities planned for the next three weeks and are on their way to raising their target of $4000 for Perth Children’s Hospital Foundation.
Thank you Sharlene and team PMH Heroes!