Family Holiday Stories

The family at Stonyridge vineyardFive year old Eric’s Dad passed away before he was born. At 17 months Eric was diagnosed with an illness that invaded 7 organs in his little body. Since that time he has had over 100 blood transfusions, he has undergone chemotherapy and a liver transplant. Today he is a happy and healthy looking little boy however his immunity is still compromised. The Holiday Helpers Holiday couldn’t have come at a better time for the Morgan family. Read mum Angela’s beautiful account of their time on Waiheke here
cherryfamilyLuke Cherry (9yrs old), had a liver transplant approx 3 years ago. You can read all about Luke’s story here. He has a 6 year old sister Bella and a new baby sister Amelia (4 months). Amelia was also born with medical problems needing heart surgery before Xmas. Parents Megan and Adrian have been through so much with the Christchurch earthquakes and their children’s health – so they were very deserving of a family break away. Read all about the Cherry family’s time on Waiheke
Taking on a baby in need of a liver transplant was unexpected and especially huge for foster mum Kathleen, who lives in the Hawkes Bay and had to drop everything to move to Starship with baby Grant.  Read all about the Kathleen and 5 year old Grant’s special time on Waiheke
The Gray family have had a very difficult few years from when little Virginia was born. Her liver transplant was 2 years ago and she has had some scary complications but is settling down now. This family have come through the worst of it but were exhausted. So a break away was to be really good medicine for them. Read all about the Gray’s time on Waiheke written by Virginia’s sisters 
Born with a rare liver condition, Katie Haggitt had to have a liver transplant at just 5 months old.  It was a hugely stressful time for Katie and her family, including her uncle who volunteered as the liver donor. However, amazingly just three months on from the operation, brave Katie was doing well enough to escape for some well earned rest and relaxation Read all about the family’s special time together time on Waiheke Island here
IMG_778615 year old Liam Watts was diagnosed with a rare Primary Immune Deficiency Disorder at 1 year old. He had a bone marrow transplant in 2014 and spent most of 2015 in Starship Hospital dealing with host, donor issues. The timing was just right for him to be able to come to Waiheke as he is in a good patch right now health wise and they were able to enjoy everything. Read all about their HHN holiday here
 Pala family of 410 year old Bhavya is a delightful and really brave little girl.  Following her liver transplant, she has had many problems – including her kidneys and diabetes playing up. Not quite out of the woods, there was also talk about a second transplant. Mum Bhavisha has a tendency to over-worry and the family is under great strain. So, a fantastic trip away to Waiheke was just what they needed – read all about it
Carter SimNapier couple Andrew and Hazel Sim have been through a very tough 2 years. The joy surrounding the birth of their son Carter in January 2014 was quickly followed by the shock diagnosis of Biliary Atresia and the imminent need for a life-saving liver transplant. Read all about the Sim family’s holiday, including Andrew and Hazel’s spontaneous decision to get married on Waiheke!

photo.PNGMadison Cave (Madi) was born on 21 January 2011 and was about four weeks old when she became really irritable. She was later found to have a rare condition called Biliary Atresia. Just 8 months into her delicate life she had undergone, not one, but two liver transplants. 4 years on Madi is doing much better but every week still brings with it various medical complications.  Read all about the Cave family’s time on Waiheke

manawaIn 2014 Manawa aged 3 was diagnosed with a life threatening medical condition Chronic Granulomas Disease (CGD) and underwent life- saving bone marrow transplant treatment . The Taranaki family spent many months in Auckland hospital alongside Manawa – it was a long and exhausting journey which they are all still recovering from. The good news is that the treatment was successful and Manawa and family are back home recuperating and getting back to normal life.  Read all about their time on Waiheke

watsons Since being diagnosed with a very rare Primary Immune disorder CGD in 2011 , life has been anything other than normal for twins Logan , Caleb and parents Rochelle and Michael .The story of their diagnosis can be found on the IDFNZ KIDS Foundation website. Selected for a surprise Waiheke holiday break the family was overwhelmed by the kindness and generosity of HHN Waiheke Island and its business sponsors. Read all about their time on Waiheke

Helena and YanikLast year Helena and Yanik  lost their baby at just 24 days old and this has naturally been an incredibly difficult time for them. They were nominated as deserving of a Holiday Helpers Waiheke respite break away. Read more about it

Fitim and family At age 4, Fitim Rudi was diagnosed with sclerosis cholangitis (a serious liver condition). He has been in and out of hospital all his life, including numerous complications and surgeries with only short breaks home. His parents Vahide and Errol (Kosovan refugees) have been living with incredible stress and it has taken a toll on their own health. In 2013 (at age 15) Fitim underwent a liver transplant, which meant he was well enough to go on a Holiday Helpers Network – Waiheke experience with his family in late 2014. Read more about it

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Lara Sutherland (the second child of Hamish and Samantha) was born on the 17th of September 2006 with Biliary Atresia, a condition where she had no bile ducts to drain the bile from the liver. On the 18th of April 2007  (at just 8 months old),  Lara’s miracle happened; a liver came up for transplant from a deceased donor. The operation went well and Lara is now  7 years old, but  surgeries, tests and hospital visits still remain a constant reality. The Sutherland’s HHN Holiday experience took place on 8-11 July 2014 – Read all about their time on Waiheke

ZoeBorn with a heart defect and a very rare life threatening immune disorder known as Di George Syndrome, this brave little girl has already undergone open heart surgery and Thymus transplantation in the USA.Three year old Zoe Edwards has spent most of her life in hospital and is still facing a long and uncertain journey to recovery. Read all about Zoe & the Edwards Family’s HHN Holiday experience

GraesynBorn November 2012, Graesyn and his mum Kylie have been fighting an unexpected and almost continuous battle for his precious life. Onset of severe jaundice and illness heralded long periods in hospital with suspected liver failure. Graesyn was eventually diagnosed with Biliary Atresia, a rare liver disease affecting new-borns.

Once diagnosed Graesyn underwent a Kasai operation as a temporary treatment to preserve his life until he was older and a donor organ was available for transplant. Graesyn was gravely ill when he was again admitted to Starship hospital only months later, his body fast losing the battle to survive when his miracle “gift of life” was granted “just in time” on the day of his first birthday. What an amazing first birthday gift.

After undergoing a liver transplant, Mum Kylie was thrilled with his progress but like all new transplant parents was overwhelmed and exhausted as she processed the shock and trauma of these events.  Read all about Graesyn & Kylie’s HHN holiday experience

Jade photoWhen a child dies, parents are forever changed. The pain is something only another grieving parent can really truly understand, it has been said that this grief may indeed be the most intense grief any person will face. KIDS Foundation members Brenda and Andrew Moffatt know this grief well, with the loss of their precious 5 year old son Jade. Read all about Brenda and Andrew’s HHN holiday experience

Screen Shot 2013-07-13 at 3.51.51 PMFrancis, Shirley, Jasmine (8yrs) and Candace (6yrs) were living in Laos as a family when they discovered Shirley was pregnant with their first boy. However, the 20 week scan revealed problems with his bladder and kidneys which were grossly inflated with urine that wasn’t draining through the urethra. Doctors at Auckland’s Starship Hospital advised them to return to New Zealand where treatment could be provided for this congenital anomaly. They returned to NZ in March 2009, and Samuel James Davy was born on 6 June. He was diagnosed with MMIHS – a very rare condition which means his intestine is under-developed and unable to absorb and process food as normal, while his bladder and kidneys are enlarged and poorly formed.   Read all about Sam and the Davy family’s HHN holiday experience