Landon's Story

Sometimes, it’s hard to imagine how you can light up Xmas for sick kids with only $50 in your wallet, but just a small amount can go towards providing support for families travelling to and from rural areas.

For rural families like Landon’s, commuting to and from a hospital, over 369 km away, can be an overwhelming experience. The stress of caring for a sick child away from your own support systems is a reality many families have to tackle every year, and one Raelene is very familiar with.

In November 2010, Raelene had to make the heartbreaking decision to leave her two little boys, Clayton and Preston, behind in Dubbo to receive urgent medical care for her unborn baby at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead. At the 20-week scan, baby Landon was diagnosed with kidney disease which meant Raelene needed specialist care. To give Landon the best chance of survival, she had to move to the Hospital in the weeks leading up to his birth.

"When Landon was born via caesarean, his doctor at the maternity hospital strongly encouraged me to call my family because he didn’t think my baby would survive past the weekend. I had no family with me, just the nurse and the porter pushing my bed. After hearing the news, the nurse didn’t know where to look so she just rubbed my hand and said to me, it will be ok."

Landon's Mum

Over the next four years, Raelene would travel back and forth between Sydney and Dubbo to help care for Landon’s condition. As he grew older, his illness only became more complex and at one point Raelene was in hospital for six months straight. But even though she was away from her home and family, she’s always tried to stay positive for Landon who has severe anxiety.

Even through the most difficult days when Landon needed a kidney transplant, Raelene insisted on one rule for herself - no crying. “Every new hiccup along the way is tough but I have a very strict ‘no crying in front of him’ policy, I don’t want Landon to think he’s upsetting us,” said Raelene.

Looking back on his roller-coaster journey, Raelene is incredibly grateful for the genuine love and care she has always received at the Hospital. All of the staff from the doctors, nurses, administrators and therapists have been their pillars of support.

"We have a great team of doctors and nurses looking after Landon. As a single mum, they have been incredibly supportive throughout the whole journey. There are nurses on Clancy Ward that used to nurse Landon when he was a newborn and they are still looking after him," says Raelene.

Landon is now nine-years-old and dreams of being a superhero, specifically a Red Power Ranger. He loves to play, is super creative and has a big imagination. For Raelene, above all, she hopes Landon can live a happy and healthy life while on medication.

What the future holds...

"I want him to get an education, to be pain free, to smile every day, to know how much I love him and realise I’ll be with him every step of the way," says Raelene.

To help rural families like Raelene’s access the best possible healthcare, donate to our Light Up Xmas Appeal today. That $50 note in your wallet could help fund one petrol voucher, so sick kids like Landon can make the long journey home, just in time for Christmas.

Sydney Children's Hospitals Foundation raises funds for Sydney Children's Hospital, Randwick , The Children's Hospital at Westmead, Bear Cottage, the Newborn and Paediatric Emergency Transport Service (NETS NSW) and Kids Research