“Your unborn baby, Same, needs a bone marrow transplant immediately!”
This is not the first time Melita’s family was torn apart. Her first child, Kini, had a history of severe combined immune deficiency and needed a bone marrow transplant.
For a total of 470 nights, Ronald McDonald House Randwick has become Melita’s home-away-from-home whilst Same receives life-saving treatment while her family stays in the Northern Territory.
Ronald McDonald House Charities Sydney is a place that you never thought you’d need but are so glad it’s there when you do and for Melita and her family it was their saviour.
“In 2014, I came here with Kini, not knowing what was going wrong. He came to the hospital with bronchitis. They thought it was just a bug, but she found that they were continuously in and out of hospitals because he kept getting sick every time. It wasn’t until he was 4 months old and got pneumonia that they started to realise that there was something deeper within. “We nearly lost him”.
We came to Ronald McDonald House thinking we were coming for two weeks. Coming from the Northern Territory, we only had a small suitcase, in the dead of winter, with no winter clothes, and we ended up at the House for months.”
As you would appreciate it, it’s a scary time for any parent, not knowing what will happen to their child. “It was scary because I remember family members having had their transplants and I knew how hard it was going to be for my boys. I knew it was a very serious illness, and without treatment I know my boys would pass away.
It was scary knowing what Kini had and the outcome if she didn’t get him treated. And it was scary to know what the treatment meant, and also it was hard because when my cousins had their transplants, their older sister was their donor. For us, we didn’t have any other children. They had to look for donors, and there was no match, so they tested me to see if I was a match. Thankfully she was a match!”
When Melita got pregnant with Same, she knew she was about to embark on another wild ride and she was about to write a different story.
“With Same, we found out early (12 weeks pregnant). With boys there was a 50% chance he would have it. When I hit 22 weeks, we already knew he was sick, so the team started preparing unborn Same to have a transplant as soon as possible.”
“When I arrived at Ronald McDonald House this time, it was much scarier because I knew this time the family couldn’t come. My husband had to stay home looking after our other two kids and work. If he came with the kids, we wouldn’t be able to survive. We did that last time and nearly lost our house, so it wasn’t an option.”
“Same is doing well except for a few bumps in the road, but he is doing better than his brother did when he went through this. From a transplant point of view, he is 100% engrafted, with 100% immunity. With Kini he had a special transplant that had never been done before. He became a case study for when a parent is the donor because he did so well.”
“With Same, he is doing well but it is hard because I am on my own, and if anything happens I am dragging the baby up to the hospital to get him checked. Whereas before there was the 2 of us that were doing a tag team. I miss adult conversation; I miss my husband.”
I am so glad to have Ronald McDonald House, we are able to stay here for FREE and not worry about having a roof over our head or even a home cooked meal. They have been my support and family while Same gets better.
Melita is one of our mums at Ronald McDonald House that knows how important it is to keep families close, especially when your child is seriously ill or injured.
Now she’s on a mission to share her courage with other mothers, fathers, grandparents and loved ones that are going through a tough time.
Show your support for Melita’s mission by donating to help keep families together: