Donate to a “heart” for Valentine’s Day to raise funds for the John Hunter Children’s Hospital.
Following the loss of her three-year old daughter Maddie in 2014, Kerryn Tippett has made it her mission to raise funds for the John Hunter Children’s hospital.
To coincide with Valentine’s Day, Kerryn has launched a fundraising appeal in honour of her daughter to raise $30,000 for the Paediatric Unit. The Hunter Hearts initiative will see “love locks” or padlocks placed in Newcastle CBD on Valentine’s Day 2017. For every $25 donation one love lock will be padlocked onto a large metal heart.
Kerryn’s story is a tragic one. Her daughter Maddie contracted two childhood viruses common to many kids. Only in her case the virus, Adenovirus (the same virus that causes conjunctivitis) infected her heart causing myocarditis which inflamed and damaged her heart.
‘The day Maddie was sick, like any parent we assumed she just had a really bad cold’, Kerryn explains. “Even when we had to take her to the hospital, the thought never entered my head that we wouldn’t be taking her home again.’
Tragically, Maddie experienced heart failure and passed away. “I wasn’t at the hospital when it happened. I had a phone call from my husband to say I needed to get there and fast. They were still trying to revive her when I arrived. Even then I couldn’t believe what was happening I still believed that her heart would start beating again”.
Kerryn remembers the period after that day. ‘After she passed, the nurses and staff cried with us and mourned our daughter. We were all in shock. The next few days and weeks were a blur but the hospital were there for us. Answering our questions and asking their own. The nurses who had worked in Maddie’s ward attended her memorial and I learned the true extent of the hospital’s care. Because, despite what you may think, the staff there feel every loss. They felt ours, deeply and painfully.’
Kerryn explains how her philosophy on life changed. ‘After Maddie passed, my husband and I made a promise to ourselves and to her. That we would make it count – live every day the best we could, try and experience all that we could with her brother Clark, and her brother that came after she passed, Harry. And I made my own personal promise to Maddie, that I would do something, whatever I could to try and raise money for the hospital that had helped us. Because if I could provide funds to purchase more time with a specialist or another piece of equipment then maybe, it would be enough to prevent another parent going through what we did, and maybe it would mean one more child going home.’
Please help Kerryn in her campaign and make a donation to Hunter Hearts.