25 May William’s Story
It was Wednesday, February 17th 2021. Jasmine, her partner Patrick and their eldest son Oliver went to their local maternity hospital, 350km away from their home in Laverton, Western Australia.
The family was preparing for the arrival of their second child, a little boy.
“It didn’t even cross our minds that we would end up even further away from home later that day,” Jasmine says.
On this same day, William was born.
It was after his birth that doctors discovered something was wrong and immediately organised a transfer to Perth Children’s Hospital with the Royal Flying Doctor’s Service.
While Jasmine and William were flown to Perth, Patrick and Oliver began the 10-hour drive to Perth.
The family, facing a difficult and uncertain time far from home, were offered support in the Ronald McDonald House on Level 5 in Perth Children’s Hospital.
The family were kept close together while Jasmine and William spent time in NICU.
“While I was having my first cuddles with William, I learned that my baby was 1 in 40,000 and had a very rare congenital defect that was going to affect him for the rest of his life,” says Jasmine.
The family’s first emergency trip to Perth Children’s Hospital in February 2021, would not be the last time William would require medical care.
Little William has undergone 3 major surgeries since being born, but they have not slowed him down one bit!
“We call him ‘Whirlwind Willy’ because he is always on the go! Even when he has been immobilised with an epidural and bandaged in mermaid wrap he has been trying to get up and go!
He has a knack of making every one that meets him fall in love with him!”
Each time the family has traveled 1,000kms from Laverton to Perth, Ronald McDonald House Charities Western Australia (RMHC WA) has been their home away from home.
For 71 nights across 4 different stays, the family has had access to supported accommodation, home-cooked meals, space to relax and reconnect, supported learning from our Education Services, and 24/7 support from our Family Liaison Officers.
“RMHC WA has kept our family together and taken away the stress of worrying about where we are going to stay when William has appointments, surgeries and medical emergencies that require us to drop everything and get to Perth ASAP,” says Jasmine.
Sometimes, it’s the little things that help alleviate the stress of having a sick or injured child – such as support for siblings also in the care of RMHC WA.
“Miss Julie has provided my older child with schooling, special activities and so much emotional support when he needed it most. She holds a special place in all of our hearts, but especially Oliver’s.”
There is no place like home and for the Hill family – Laverton is where they share some of their happiest moments.
Oliver’s favourite thing about Laverton is ‘Friday Spiday’ at The Great Beyond Café with his cousins and aunties. Jasmine says she thinks William also enjoys this weekly get together – but especially now that he is old enough to enjoy a babycino with the entire family.
Dad Patrick says his favourite thing about their town is being able to have the family over for weekly dinners and catch ups.
As for Jasmine, she says: “My favourite thing is seeing all of my boys happy, and Laverton makes them happy.”
For WA families like the Hill Family, RMHC WA will always be there to keep families close together during difficult times.
“We received a phone call from Saara at RMHC WA, the day before William’s 1st birthday, to talk about our journey. We had only just been reflecting on the whirlwind year we have had with our little man.
We will never be able to express how grateful we are for all the support that RMHC WA and the beautiful staff, volunteers and other families that we have met along the way have given us.
I really don’t know how we would have coped if we didn’t have access to all their support! Thank you so so much.”