3 minute read  •  Patient Stories

When one Mater little miracle led to another

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For parents of Mater little miracle Aislinn, buying tickets in the Mater Prize Home lottery was never about the chance to win a prize.

It was their way of thanking Mater for the exceptional service and level of care that Aislinn had received after discovering she was born with a life threatening condition.

When little Aislinn entered the world on 7 February 2011, second time parents Tracey and Greg Sheehan were overjoyed that their son, Clancy would have a younger sister.

Tracey had experienced a perfect pregnancy with Aislinn and had experienced no complications before Aislinn was born full term at 38 weeks and weighing 2.96 kg.

On the first day after birth, Aislinn was diagnosed with hip dysplasia which meant she would need a Pavlik Harness for three months to gently position her hips so they aligned to her joints.

On the second day after birth, the Sheehan’s were left feeling anxious after Aislinn’s paediatrician heard a whistle in her heart through his stethoscope.

Doctors diagnosed Aislinn with Atrial Septal Defect (ASD), a form of congenital heart defect and Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD), commonly known as having holes in the heart. “We were told that our baby needed open heart surgery to repair the holes in her heart, and if we didn’t pursue the surgery, Aislinn would have a life expectancy of two years.” Aislinn underwent a lengthy five hour operation at Mater before spending eight days in the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU).

After one of Aislinn’s post-operative check-ups, the Sheehan family were approached about buying Mater Prize Home tickets. “The only reason I bought tickets was because I wanted to give back to Mater, as they had given my daughter the best possible start to life,” Tracey said.

Tracey received a number of phone calls on 31 April 2014 from a private number but did not pick up the phone. Little did she know, it was Mater Foundation Chief Executive Officer Nigel Harris on the phone, ready to announce she had won a Mater Prize Home in Casuarina. “I didn’t know we had won until I picked up a registered post letter from the Mater Foundation five days later stating I had won the first prize! “I absolutely couldn’t believe it. I thought it was a hoax,” she said. I rang the Mater Foundation to check if it was a hoax. To my pleasant surprise, it was 100 per cent real! We now have a beautiful home in Casuarina which Aislinn and Clancy love.”

“All I can say is we’re so thankful of the health care Mater gave my daughter and the fact that we won a prize home is an incredible bonus.”

Aislinn is now a lively three year old and her mother explains that she has a huge personality. “If you met her now, you wouldn’t know what she has been through,” she said.

“Aislinn is so happy and healthy and she has a flamboyant personality. She’s sassy, she loves to boss her brother around, she’s incredibly chatty and she’s an absolute blessing. Because of everything she went through, she remains a fighter, she can get through anything.”

Aislinn needs physiotherapy and occupational therapy for gross motor development but otherwise is now doing well.The three-year-old loves Peppa Pig, dancing, playing with her two dogs and recently learnt how to ride a bike.

Your support of the Mater Prize Home lottery helps provide Mater little miracles, like Aislinn, with the best possible start to life. You can show your support by purchasing tickets today—it could also make you our next winner! Take a look at our latest Mater Prize Home here.

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