A year on, Catriona and her beautiful and very happy family visits the NETS...

A tribute to life

We hear all sorts of stories every day that inspire us. Sometimes they may even change us a little… This story I’m about to share, from my close friend Catriona and her son Monty, makes me want to embrace life in all its forms…

The NETS
Newborn and Paediatric Emergency Transport Service (NETS)

We hear all sorts of stories every day that inspire us. Sometimes they may even change us a little…

This story I’m about to share, from my close friend Catriona and her son Monty, makes me want to embrace life in all its forms – taste all its flavours, feel every emotion, breath in every little moment, live intensely all the laughter and tears it might want throw at me, smile at strangers, experience and share.

Their story is a real tribute to life…

Monty was just seven days old when his heart went into cardiac shock. Catriona and her husband Jase rushed to Wyong Hospital (they lived on the Central Coast of NSW) where it was confirmed Monty was in heart failure due to a narrowing of the aorta. Their newborn had to be urgently transferred to Sydney’s Westmead hospital by helicopter for surgery.

I can’t begin to imagine how agonising the following days would have been for the family. But thanks to 22 specialist staff, careful monitoring over a year period, the love and support from his family and, most importantly, Monty’s fighting spirit, a now healthy and happy little boy recently turned one.

Here are Catriona’s own words…

Monty - Agonising wait to stabilise for surgery
Monty – Agonising wait to stabilise for surgery

“Well this time a year ago, I was embarking on my first helicopter ride. It had taken me 36 years to experience this and our son, well, just 7 days…

We have been blessed by our experience and can only take good things from it. The people we have met along the way have enriched our lives beyond words – doctors, cardiologists, paediatricians, nurses, hospital staff, as well as other families with terribly sick children – without their experiences we would not be as happy and grounded as we are now. The care and support we have received ourselves from family and friends is immeasurable.

The lessons we learnt through Monty’s life-saving surgery, his hospitalisation and further treatment, as well as the sudden tragic loss of a dear friend late last year, we have come to the realisation that life is precious and far too short.

These experiences have changed us for the better and I strive each day to be thankful. Of course, the daily trials of life sometimes get in the way, but having come so close to losing our child, one look at him and others who have suffered, is a reminder to live every day to the fullest, and to try to make a difference in others’ lives – no matter how small. A smile or a compliment to a stranger goes a long way – we have no inkling of what some people struggle with daily.

Yes, utterly philosophical, but it’s been an awe-inspiring year.

And you know what? I wouldn’t change things for the world!”

Catriona, your story reminds me just how life is precious and beautiful – and so are you. I can’t wait to finally meet mighty Monty. What a true champ he is! xx

A year on, Catriona and her beautiful and very happy family visits the NETS...
A year on, Catriona and her beautiful and very happy family visits the NETS…

One-year-old Monty and his sister Edie
One-year-old Monty and his sister Edie