Grateful Ollie’s neonatal journey
Little Oliver Slade was born at only 25 weeks weighing just 535 grams.
“There was often a new complication, and phone calls at 3am when he was very sick,” recalls Rhiannon. “In the early days we were told that we just needed to celebrate Oliver getting through each hour. It was a stressful and anxious time.
“But he was in the very best hands; he was in the place he needed to be.”
Now 18 months old, Oliver has ongoing health conditions and receives therapy for the complications resulting from his prematurity. But despite this, he is loving being home surrounded by his family.
“He just loves life and he’s so happy – every week he’s doing something new,” Rhiannon says.
"The staff were an incredible support for us and so good at explaining everything that was going on with Ollie. Visitors weren’t allowed in the unit due to the COVID-19 restrictions, so they were our constant company and became like family"
In a show of thanks to the Neonatal Unit, the Slade family recently raised $1,060 by asking for donations in lieu of gifts at Ollie’s first birthday party – with several neonatal staff also joining the celebration.
Rhiannon will also take part in the City-Bay later this year, raising funds to bring a Neurally Adjusted Ventilatory Assist (NAVA) device
“I am so thankful for everything we received for Oliver and am now passionate about giving back and helping other families and their babies to have a better chance of survival,” Rhiannon says.