Thumbs Up For Abi
Abiagael, our daughter, was diagnosed with ALL (Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia) on the 26th October 2015, when she was only three and a half years old. Since Abi’s Birth, she has been in and out of the hospital for most of her life. Abi was diagnosed with a blood disorder called Spherocytosis at age 7 months. At the age of 15 months, Abi was still not walking and in pain when she stood up and was diagnosed with a severe case of Hip Dysplasia. In November 2013, Abi had surgery to correct the location of her Femur and was in a Spica for 3 months.
In March 2015, we were advised that Abi’s hip angle was still too high and that she will require more surgery at the age of 4 to have the hip cut in half, rotated and then bone cut from the hip bone and spliced into the gap and steel pins inserted. This means Abi would need to be in a wheelchair for 8 weeks and rehabilitation for 6 months for her to be able to walk again. The pins would finally be removed after 1 year and hopefully, the procedure would have corrected the problem.
Unfortunately, Abi’s leukaemia treatment was in full swing and the surgery could not take place due to an infection when her immune system is low which could be fatal. Now in 2017, we have the green light to go ahead with the operation and this could happen as soon as March 2017.
During Abi’s maintenance phase of chemo, she became very anaemic on a frequent basis due to her Spherocytosis and had to have a partial splenectomy. After this surgery, Abi suffered from collapsed lungs and required vital assistance to breathe.
Abi has incurred infections regularly since July 2016 and required hospitalisation every couple of weeks to get assistance in fighting these infections.
We also have a six-year-old son, Benjamin, and as we live four hours drive away from the Royal Children’s Hospital, our family must be separated as one of us needs to be with Abi and the other, with Ben.
My partner, Matt, has had to resign from his job in 2015 to support us all through this difficult time, and to rotate being with Abi in the hospital and to care for Ben at home. I have now been diagnosed with Fibro Myalgia which has been debilitating and has at times confined me to bed due to fatigue and pain. Matt has had to support and look after me as well as the rest of the family.
The support we have received from family, friends, and strangers, has been overwhelming and we have appreciated every kind word, every offer of help and gifts for Ben and Abi.
It has been a hard decision to sign up for a “Go Fund Me” campaign, however, the main reason we have decided to do so is that our family is undergoing a huge financial stress. We have borrowed money from the bank and sold most of our possessions to keep our family afloat. We are in the position now that we have no more savings or super left and we are starting to default on the loan repayments. We have debts totalling over $100,000 and have spent over $300,000 of our life savings since Abiagael’s initial diagnosis. It will be only a matter of time before we have our possessions repossessed which includes our car.
We as a family are united and strong but we are succumbing to the emotional, financial and physical stresses associated with a child having a life-threatening condition. We are a proud family and have tried to do this on our own. We have no family support and we now feel we are backed into a corner. We ask you that if you can help in any way this would mean the world to us.