Raising much needed funds for the NICU ward to save babies like Joey

By Laura Beament

I'm fundraising for The Royal Hospital for Women Foundation

When our newborn Joseph was born at 37 weeks, he was coughing up mucus and shortly after was diagnosed with a rare birth defect which affects one in 5,000 babies. Nothing prepares you for childbirth when it doesn’t go as planned. Known as a tracheoesophageal fistula, it is when there is an abnormal connection between the oesophagus (the tube that leads from the throat to the stomach) and the trachea (the tube that leads from the throat to the windpipe and lungs.)

When he would swallow, the liquid could pass through the oesophagus and the trachea and into his lungs which can cause pneumonia and other problems. He had to have a nine hour operation to fix it and it was one of the longest days of my life. It was nerve wracking. 

Joseph went into the operation at 8 am at The Royal Hospital for Women in Randwick and we sat in our room all day, nervously waiting for news. As if sensing our distress and anxiety, the hospital staff were brilliant, updating us about his progress as the day went along, but it was hard to focus on anything. We were beside ourselves with worry and still in shock about what was happening to our tiny newborn boy.

The surgeons, neonatologists and paediatrician reassured us that this was a routine operation and something they had performed many times over, but I kept thinking as the hours ticked by: this is such a big operation for such a tiny baby. 

Joseph finally came out of surgery at 6.30 pm with the news we were yearning to hear: all was well despite a very long and complicated surgery.

Although I had held Joseph when he was born, we had to wait six long days while he lay in the Newborn Intensive Care Unit before I could hold him again after his surgery.

I held him close to me for one hour and it was the most special moment. I was so incredibly happy to have him with us, safely in my arms after such an ordeal. It was hard to describe how wonderful it felt.

The Royal Hospital for Women is one of only two hospitals in NSW with the suitably experienced surgeons and co-located facilities where such a delicate operation can be performed.

The Royal’s NICU relies on donations to ensure it can stay at the forefront of medical technology, including equipment like the NAVA ventilator that kept our son safe during his first week of life. This innovative machine uses an electrical signal from a baby’s diaphragm to intuitively sense a baby’s natural urge to breathe. The Royal is a leader in the use of this neonatal technology, with encouraging results and outcomes for babies who are premature or require surgery like Joseph.

We have just taken Joseph home where he is happily settling in to his own cot and joyfully exploring his fingers and toes.

He’s a very determined little boy and has surprised everyone with how quickly he has recovered. 

All donations made to our fundraising page will directly help fund vital equipment for the NICU such as the NAVA Ventilator. 

Laura, Dennis & Joseph x

Thank you to my Supporters

$2.01k

Dennis & Laura

$1.01k

Derek & Rhonda Matthews

No donation could ever express our appreciation to the amazing people who helped our grandchild through his first moments. We are forever grateful. We can't wait to share in all the special times you will have as a beautiful family.

$510

Kristie & Andrew Simpson

Such a worthy cause, good luck beautiful family! Will share with friends also :-)

$510

Sam & Kaps

A great cause and a beautiful family

$310

Herd Msl

Such a brilliant cause! We are so thankful that Joey is now home wrapped up in his parents love. Special times and good health ahead. Can’t wait to meet Joey. Love your Herd family xxx

$208

Tristan Case

The best boy

$192.40

The Murphy’s And Uncle Petesy

Thinking of you all. All our love from the Murphy’s and uncle Petesy xxxxx

$156

Alan, Catherine, Maddison & Decland Matthews

Such an amazing feat. We are so happy for you both and can't wait to meet Joey. What a great cause.

$156

Lilian Johnson

Good luck with raising your goal. Hope your campaign can make a difference in saving other young babies.

$156

Jillian Cook

Best of luck Laura, Dennis and beautiful baby Joey. Warm wishes Jillian and Bernie Cook

$108.16

Daniel Barratt

$104

Charlotta Backlund

We can’t wait to meet Joey the warrior! Sending you so much love ❤️ Lotta, James, Hunter and Astrid xx

$104

Tom Allen

$104

Anonymous

So proud of you guys ❤️ Faye, Darren & boys xxxx

$104

Katarina, Todd & Max Mcdermid

Best wishes to you all. He's a beautiful boy! xx

$104

Ollie & Karen Xxx

Dear Laura & Den & little Joey, Such a good cause for helping the little ones early days 🥰🥰 xx

$104

Kat Beament

More for my baby boy 💙

$104

Loz And Yan (and Tink) Lecordier

What a distressing experience but one that had the best outcome thanks to the RHW and NICU. Donating to ensure all families get the same level of care. Lots of love Loz and Yan xx

$104

Agi, Dan & Margot Xx

$104

Lois O’sullivan

Love you BEST BABY, the little warrior!!

$104

Jane, Carl And Isla

So happy that Joey is making a good recovery. Sending lots of love to you all xxx

$83.20

Anonymous

$83.20

Derek Matthews

From kathy hall lanzarote the anonymous donation above is from dicio lanzarote

$83.20

Mick And Barb Lanzarote

$62.40

The Simonellis

Here’s to helping more precious babies and supporting the wonderful work of the RHW

$52

Lyndsay Gook

$52

Elise Clement

Sending you much love!

$52

Charlotte & David Shaw

Thank you so much to the incredible team who looked after our nephew, sister and brother in law xx

$52

Minouche

A very worthwhile cause. xx

$52

John Eyers

So happy for you

$52

Peter Beament

Hope I’ve done this correctly!

$52

Jen Leech

So sorry you guys had to go through but thank you for sharing and raising everyone's awareness, including ours xxx

$52

Claire Roberts & Danny Monk

Such a great cause x

$52

Kat Beament

For my perfect little nephew xx

$52

Sarah Burke

What amazing work they do at the NICU. Congratulations on your beautiful boy X x

$41.60

Lisa G

In recognition of your tough little fighter Joey… and all those that follow x

$26

Camilla

Love you Laura & can’t wait to meet little Joey xx

$26

Kirsty Lee

$26

Mel P

Amazing work attaching your experience to a cause xx

$26

Clare Azouz

Well done on raising money for this great cause Laura!

$26

Bryony

Good on you for sharing Joey’s inspirational story - what a fighter!

$26

Malwina Strutt

Wonderful cause and so happy to hear your boy is healthy and thriving.

$26

Kate Young

Such an incredible cause xx

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