Meet Ollie: the face of our Gold Appeal

Even before Ollie was born, his parents and doctors knew that he would have to fight for his life.

When ultrasound scans showed he had problems with his heart and bowel, and a clubbed foot, Sydney Children’s Hospital’s paediatricians started preparing a team of specialists to treat Ollie’s complex conditions.

Ollie was diagnosed with VACTERL association, a rare condition that affects his bowel, heart, kidneys, limbs and spine.

When he was just two days old, baby Ollie had open heart surgery and he’s needed 27 major operations since.

And so began Ollie’s battle for life. The medical team had to decide not only how to treat all his conditions, but also which to treat first.

Ollie hasn't let an amputation stop him

When he was five, Ollie faced something that was very difficult for a little boy who loves soccer. It was time to treat his club foot and as Ollie was missing several small bones in his ankle there wasn't a repair option on the table.  

Unfortunately, amputation and a prosthetic leg was the only way to give Ollie a life of full mobility. The surgery was straightforward, but the painful wound took four months to heal.

But he hasn’t let that stop him!

Ollie is now a fierce competitor on the soccer field

Ollie’s a happy, funny nine-year-old who eats like his friends, goes to mainstream school and is a fierce competitor on the sports field. Ollie still loves soccer, has taken up cricket and is fast becoming a swimming superstar.

He loves to run and has a running blade, with the help of Sydney Children’s Hospital, Randwick. This blade took him all the way to the state championships in cross country.

Ollie’s fierce, funny and brave. It’s how he’s coped with 28 major operations and being really sick for most of his life. Tracy – Ollie’s mum

Ollie has received care from so many different specialist teams within Sydney Children’s Hospital, Randwick – he really does represent all the 69,000 children cared for by the Hospital each year.

Today, you wouldn’t know by Ollie’s infectious grin just how much he’s been through.

“If you have kids you love, you want to know that if they get sick, the clever people at the Hospital have the tools, techniques, machines and staff they need to fix them. For us, that’s been a gift we’ll never be able to repay. The Hospital has given Ollie to us - beautifully healed and ready for life.” Tracy – Ollie’s mum

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