Featured, Stories - October 20, 2023
Homecoming made possible through love and support
When baby Judah was diagnosed with a genetic disorder and congenital defect, his family turned to the Intereach Early Childhood (EC) team for support.
At just six weeks old, Judah was diagnosed with Pierre Robin sequence, a condition where babies are born with a small lower jaw, have difficulties breathing and often have a cleft palate, as well as Coffin-Siris syndrome – an ultra-rare genetic condition, which can lead to learning disabilities and developmental delays.
Suddenly, the family of five’s life revolved around Sydney Children’s Hospital, where little Judah relied on a tracheostomy and ventilator, along with tube feeding for nourishment.
Throughout this tough journey, Kirsten, Judah’s brave mother, never left his side.
“It’s been a long, hard journey, leaving our other three children behind, not knowing when we would all be together again as a family and what our new family life would look like,” Kirsten said.
A lifeline of support was extended to the family when they met with Intereach, the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) Early Childhood Partner in the Community, and EC Coordinator Tamara.
Tamara compassionately worked hand-in-hand with Kirsten and dedicated social worker Ann from Sydney Children’s Hospital in December 2022. Together, they crafted a comprehensive plan that could provide much-needed support to the family.
In March 2023, the family was transferred to Wagga Wagga Base Hospital, where they faced new challenges in supporting Judah. Realising the need for additional resources, Tamara acted with swiftness and care, ensuring Judah’s needs were being met in this new environment.
With unwavering determination, Tamara gathered vital evidence from therapists, leading to the approval of a much-needed hospital cot. Empowered by the support funded by the NDIS, the family wasted no time in purchasing the necessary items to transform their home into a safe and nurturing haven, for Judah’s long-awaited homecoming at the end of June 2023.
Tamara’s heartfelt approach, Intereach’s family-centred planning and the financial support of the NDIS have had a profound impact on the family’s life. Judah, now 15 months old, has experienced warmth and comfort as he transitioned from the hospital to his home.
Throughout this process and beyond, the family continues to be surrounded by compassionate support workers, who are dedicated to understanding and meeting Judah’s needs.
“We are incredibly proud of Tamara and the entire team at Intereach for their incredible efforts in supporting this courageous family,” Intereach Early Childhood Program Manager Carla said.
“Stories like these remind us why we do what we do because every bit of love and care we pour into our work can create a world of difference in someone’s life. We are committed to being a pillar of unwavering support for families in need.”
Intereach’s intervention demonstrates the power of collaboration in times of need. With thoughtful advice and relentless commitment, Tamara developed a tailor-made plan that addressed Judah’s needs and supported and empowered the family.
Overwhelmed with gratitude, the family expressed their heartfelt appreciation for the support that helped set up their home for their baby’s homecoming.
“With all that came with Judah’s diagnosis, we were so overwhelmed with what was required to bring Judah home in terms of equipment, home support, setting up NDIS plans, etc. We were so grateful to have Tamara on our team helping and guiding us every step of the way,” Kirsten said.
“Tamara made it all seem possible and helped us to feel at ease with the whole process. Tamara helped us with everything we needed and made it feel like we could one day make it home and be a family again.”