News

Moving to Melbourne to save their baby

By John Lewis

A Euroa couple whose unborn baby has been diagnosed with a rare heart defect has been forced to relocate to Melbourne for the child's treatment and ongoing care.

Jessie Norman-Linke and husband Michael appeared in The News a month ago telling of their struggle to remain in their Euroa home of 10 years while facing months of treatment in Melbourne for their newborn's condition — the potentially fatal hypoplastic left heart syndrome.

At the time, they said a temporary relocation to Melbourne would place great strain on the family finances and on their children — Bailee, 4, and Chayse 3.

Now they have decided to uproot and make the move to the city to give their new baby and their family the best chance of staying together.

“We are looking at letting go of our home of 10 years and taking a 12-month lease on a rental in Melbourne,” Mrs Norman-Linke said.

“Six to twelve months of hospital time is too long for us to leave our animals and for the kids to bounce around locations — and realistically Michael can't afford to not work for six months,” she said.

Now at 26 weeks' gestation, Mrs Norman-Linke must move to Melbourne when her pregnancy reaches 36 weeks — just before Christmas — so doctors can monitor her progress and prepare for her baby's first heart operation within days of birth. The baby then faces another two open-heart operations before the age of five years.

Mrs Norman-Linke said the family was being supported by fundraising campaigns at Euroa-based PT Dan fitness centre and TDA Performing Arts in Benalla.

The couple has also set up a Go Fund Me web page to help the family financially during the first few months of the new baby's life.

Walk for Prems events

The 2019 Walk for Prems takes place simultaneously across Australia on Sunday, October 27.

As well as walks in capital cities, events will also take place in regional centres across the country.

Walks at Nathalia Primary School and Melbourne's Albert Park take place from 9am.

The Walk for Prems is an annual fundraiser for the charity foundation Life's Little Treasures which supports the families of sick babies or babies born prior to 37 weeks' gestation.

From 2005, the foundation has grown to service more than 123 hospitals across Australia.

To register for the 2019 walk, go to www.walkforprems.org.au