MPs heartbreak: I felt my boy die in my arms

 

A QUEENSLAND MP has revealed the devastating moment he held his dying six-week-old boy in his arms, in a rollercoaster speech about overcoming adversity.

Terry Young, who caused the upset win over Labor's Susan Lamb in Longman in May, began his first speech today with a joke about being married young at 21.

"At 23 I had four kids and a vasectomy - for obvious reasons," he said.

But soon his speech turned to his wife's struggle with cancer and feeling his infant son die in his arms.

New LNP MP Terry Young during his first speech in the House of Representatives at Parliament House in Canberra. Picture: Kym Smith
New LNP MP Terry Young during his first speech in the House of Representatives at Parliament House in Canberra. Picture: Kym Smith

"I remember the pain of my son Matthew dying in my arms from SIDS at six weeks of age 28 years ago, which will never leave me because parents should never bury their children," Mr Young said.

"For those who have lost a child, I'm with you.

"Even though I've endured these battles it is not the knocks we receive in our life that define us, but our response to these knocks that define us."

New LNP MP Terry Young is hugged by PM Scott Morrison after delivering his first speech in the House of Representatives at Parliament House in Canberra. Picture: Kym Smith
New LNP MP Terry Young is hugged by PM Scott Morrison after delivering his first speech in the House of Representatives at Parliament House in Canberra. Picture: Kym Smith

The grandson of a South Sea Island slave Kanaka said spoke of the importance of overcoming adversity.

"Every time we face adversity we have a choice, as an individual, as a government and as a nation on how we deal with that adversity," he said.

"We can run, bury it under the carpet, put it in the too hard basket, or roll up our sleeves and deal with it.

"If boy from Kallangur, whose grandfather was a South Sea Island slave commonly known as a Kanaka in the late 1800s, who came from simple beginnings, who left school with just a junior certificate can end up in this House, anything's possible."

Terry Young after winning the seat of Longman. Picture: AAP/Steve Pohlner
Terry Young after winning the seat of Longman. Picture: AAP/Steve Pohlner

He paid tribute to his wife Alex battle with cancer - having melanoma and lymph nodes removed.

"After recovering from this Alex went through three separate surgeries to try and prevent early stage breast cancer. Unfortunately a safe margin could not be achieved so a mastectomy was performed.

"My wife strengths, grit and guts through this incredibly difficult time only magnified my admiration for her."

Prime Minister Scott Morrison gave the fledging MP a hug at the end of the speech, which had his colleagues both laughing and fighting back tears.



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