Family stories

Louie’s story

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Little Louie is just two weeks old. He made his grand entrance into the world six weeks earlier than expected, with a heart beating significantly faster than the average newborn.

Louie was born with supraventricular tachycardia (SVT), which is an abnormally fast or erratic heartbeat. And, although 95% of SVT cases eventually resolve, “he is in the unlucky 5%”, as his mum, Nicole, says.

As unfortunate as their son’s condition is, Nicole and her partner, Tyson, feel lucky to be at the Ronald McDonald House in Adelaide.

As a new, young family that had to travel 400 km to receive care, Nicole and Tyson felt welcomed at the House the minute they walked through the door. Staff showed the couple around every corner of the House and, like guests staying with a friend for the first time, invited them to treat the House as their own.

“It was lovely to walk in and feel at home. The staff are so lovely and we have been so lucky,” says Nicole.

Staying at the House has also saved Nicole and Tyson from having to pay to stay at a hotel, which they said they couldn’t afford as new parents. But it’s the familial support that’s made life that little bit easier for the couple.

They spend long days at the hospital, dealing with the complications of Louie’s prematurity, with no family or friends close by for support. This can be that much harder for a couple who treasures quality time with those they love.

So, just having a friendly face to chat to at the end of a long day can make all the difference.

“All the staff and volunteers are so lovely and warm. They always ask how we are and how Louie is today. We don’t have family up here, so we’re very happy staying here.”

It’s been two weeks since Nicole and Tyson checked into the House, and staying so close to the hospital has really helped them focus on what matters: “Trying to get Louie the best care so that we can get him home as quickly as possible. Everyone’s hanging out to meet him.”