Mum makes plea to give daughter hope for a better life
MORE than a year after the traumatic birth of her first daughter, Cheyanne Lee Few is hoping her newborn baby could hold the key to giving her older sister a better life.
Former Woolgoolga local Cheyanne, 24, had relocated to Western Australia to work in the mines when she met her partner Michael and later fell pregnant.
Last year at 36 weeks in her pregnancy there was a tragic turn.
Cheyanne experienced a placental abruption which saw her daughter Harper "die three times". The placenta had completely detached from the womb, depriving Harper of oxygen and nutrients.
She was placed in the ICU under palliative care, and doctors told Cheyanne and Michael there was a slim chance of survival.
"After they pulled her out of the incubator they said she would last an hour maximum. We took her to a private room and whispered endless words of love expecting to spend our last minutes with her," Cheyanne said.
"But she made it through the night. She began breathing on her own, and slowly the tubes started coming off.
"We were told she would have a high chance of developing cerebral palsy when we took her home three weeks later, but we were in denial."
Harper has now been diagnosed with cerebral palsy, meaning her ability to develop and do everyday tasks such as speak, walk and crawl is non-existent.
"Watching Harper everyday wake up with her massive smile and conquer each day with such strength is truly a blessing. It is incredible to watch despite the pain of her twitching, arching body that is controlling her muscle tone and undermining her possibility to develop and reach milestones in unimaginable ways," Cheyanne said.
But with the healthy birth of their second daughter Addison about five weeks ago, Cheyanne and Michael are hoping Harper could have a chance with a stem cell transplant.
Using stem cells from Addison's umbilical cord, there's potential to restore parts of Harper's brain.
The family are hoping to travel to the US for the transplant as it is not yet available in Australia - but it comes at a hefty cost.
The family have set up a campaign, Hope 4 Harper, in a bid to raise the funds.
"We have a goal of around $120,000 to cover the cost of the transplant as well as spinal surgery.
"As the days go by it's getting harder to accept. We've realised now the only way we can help Harper is to get her story out there. Now is the time we need to really start trying to change her future for the better."
Photos owned by Anja McDonald.