Every day, when Melissa Andrews came into The Royal Hospital for Women at Randwick, she would ask the midwife, “Is today the day?”

The answer she was longing to hear was whether this was the day she could hold her newborn son for the first time. Her little boy Flynn had been born five days earlier but had been unable to breathe.

After being given CPR, he was rushed from Sutherland hospital to the Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at The Royal Hospital for Women where he was put on life support.

Melissa could only hover over him, stroke his temples, and gently talk to him as the specialists at the NICU cared for her baby son around the clock.

“It was just terrifying, not knowing what was going to happen,” she says. “I kept asking, ‘When can I hold my son?’ So finally when they said I could pick him up, it was such a relief. It felt like such a milestone. For me it was the most beautiful feeling in the world to finally be able to cuddle him.”

Fast forward 15 months and Flynn is now a happy, healthy toddler who can wave his chubby fists when he says goodbye. He can almost say “Dad.”

The Andrews were so moved by the care he received at The Royal Hospital for Women that they have just donated $1000 to The Royal Hospital for Women Foundation, which was gratefully received by CEO Trish O’Brien.

Although Flynn’s long term prognosis is excellent, he will be closely monitored by a speech pathologist and for possible learning delays during his first years at school.

“We just wanted to give something back,” says Aaron. “It was such a shocking, stressful time, and the care we were given by all the specialists was exceptional. I’ll never forget the relief I felt when I saw the sign to The Royal Hospital for Women in Barker Street, Randwick, and knew we were almost there. As soon as we came through the front doors we were surrounded by a team of experts who did everything possible for our son.”

Flynn is one of many NICU graduates who are being tracked and monitored on The Royal’s Growth and Development Program until the age of eight.