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Katie's Story

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13 11 14
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The following is a transcript of Chelsea's story.


"My name is Katie and I am the proud mother of four boys. Archie, who would be eight this year. Billy, who is almost five and my twins Tom and Ed, who are almost three.

Archie's story is a difficult one but a beautiful one.

I was 12 days postpartum and I remember distinctly that it was a Sunday morning and I had slept very little that night. All I wanted to do was escape.

I'd actually thought that Sunday morning, wouldn't it be great if I could just get in a car and drive away and never come back and I knew that that wasn't right.

I was working with my Gidget Clinician for well over a year and I'd returned to work and was finally feeling back like my old self again and at 16 months of age, Archie was diagnosed with a very acute and rare type of leukaemia.

Our whole world turned upside down and we basically moved into Sydney Children's Hospital at Randwick full time, and that would be our life for the next 20 months.

In the middle of 2018 Archie she went into remission and that was the most incredible news after battling for almost 6 months at the time  and it was around that time that Carl and I made the decision to have or try for another baby and we fell pregnant very quickly with Billy.

Shortly after falling pregnant a couple of months we got the news that Archie had relapsed and so it was at that point in time that I reached back out to my Gidget Clinician again because I knew what the outcome was going to be from this relapse.

We spent Christmas of 2018 in Sydney Children's Hospital and decided that we were going to treat this relapse with some of the most experimental and aggressive types of treatment that we could find and in May of that year I had Billy.

And it was the most treasured moment for me to have Archie be able to meet his little brother and it was the 5th of July in 2019 that we made the heartbreaking decision to stop treatment and we moved straight into their cottage at Manly.

And there we spent the next two months living as a family with both sets of grandparents, Carl and I, Billy, as a newborn and Archie, and making our most beautiful and deliberate last memories with him

before he passed away on Father's Day – the 1st of September in 2019.

But my grief journey has been helped enormously by being able to have children to love and so that is why when we had Tom and Ed during Covid in 2021 it was the most magnificent surprise.

Gidget has really been able to meet me both physically and mentally where I am at each stage of my parenting journey and in case there's any doubt these services have been life-changing for my family and life-saving for me.

My message to other women and families out there is that you are not alone.

Gidget Foundation Australia cannot take away your pain and they cannot take away your difficulties or challenges but they can make sure that you're not alone and they will be there right beside you to walk through your journey.

Grief can affect emotional, social, physical, spiritual/religious and mental wellbeing.

Grief is not a set of finite stages, instead it comes and goes over a lifetime reducing in intensity over several months or years and no two people experience or cope with grief in exactly the same way.

For helpful information on what to expect and mental wellbeing suggestions, please see our factsheet on bereavement.


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