It’s a simple wish as a parent, to have happy healthy children.  However for some parents this wish sadly doesn’t come true.   For some they will receive the devastating news that their child has a serious health condition.  The world as they once knew it changes forever.

Priscilla and Michael, parents of a five year old child began this intense and emotional journey when their daughter Briana was born.  They realised something was not right.  They suddenly found themselves thrown into a foreign medical world, where there was so much to learn about their daughters diagnosis and what it may mean for her in the future and what it meant for them.

Both Cilla and Michael worked when they had Bree, with Cilla going on maternity leave.  However Bree required 24/7 care when she was at home.  As the months went by and the intensity of her care was realised, Michael gave up his career to provide the technical and high level of care Bree required.

Real life pressures

Both Cilla and Michael wanted to spend as much time with Bree as possible as the medical team had made it clear that she was a fragile child and time with her was precious.    Cilla had to return to work though, as there were little financial allowances that enabled both parents to be at home with Bree.  Cilla felt robbed of time with her daughter, however financially she had to work to pay the mortgage.  They would often spend time in hospital, either Starship or Waikato as Bree required technology not available to them in the community.  This is itself was gruelling and terrifying.

These stressful times added to the pressure on them as a family.  Their relationship was put to the test many times.  They were sleep deprived, burdened with their finances and grieving the loss of milestones that Bree would never have the opportunity to reach.

The immense love they had for Bree shone though though. Their amazing courage, strength and determination amidst the pain and grief they were experiencing was evident.  They were committed to advocating for their little girl, often at an emotional cost to themselves.

Their love for Bree was a testament to amazing parenting in the toughest of situations.

Michael and Cilla wanted to share their story in honour of Bree who passed away on 28th March 2017.