The Townley family found themselves at Ronald McDonald House in Townsville after their youngest bub, Flynn, entered the world without warning.
Mum Erin was only 30 weeks pregnant when she had life-threatening complications. To save both mum and bub, Flynn was delivered via emergency Caesarean at Mackay Base Hospital.
Because he was born prematurely and required assistance breathing, Flynn was flown to Townsville University Hospital with the Royal Flying Doctor Service the evening he was born, with Mum flying in the following day.
Ronald McDonald House Charities North Australia was there to welcome Erin, Dad Johnathan, and the entire family including Flynn’s three siblings and grandparents, meaning they were able to support one another and Flynn during the road to recovery.
“Ronald McDonald House welcomed our family with open arms at a very stressful time and allowed our family to stay and be together,” said Erin.
“It wasn’t only a bed, though. Our children had somewhere to play and burn their energy and feel as though they were on holiday.”
Flynn’s siblings Mia, Allie and Logan loved taking part in the planned activities around the House. Logan even celebrated his second birthday at Ronald McDonald House, with his family by his side to help him celebrate.
“The highlight for our children was the fairy garden in which Fairy Doyle lived,” said Erin.
“After writing a letter, the children also received gifts from Fairy Doyle at our door.
“They were beside themselves, and we couldn’t wipe the smiles off their faces.”
Erin and Johnathan could see Flynn often while still having time to spend with their other children, something that was incredibly important given they were nearly 400km from home and their support network.
After 18 nights, Flynn was strong enough to fly back home to Mackay.
“The support and kindness of the staff at Ronald McDonald House is something we will never forget,” said Erin.
“What this organisation is doing for families like ours is absolutely priceless, and we will be forever grateful.”