Last Wednesday, shortly after dinner time, a tiny baby girl was born.
Billie Ava Stevens was delivered in Christchurch Hospital at just 25 weeks and weighing only 510g after her mother Brodie Soster unexpectedly suffered a life-threatening pregnancy complication, while on holiday in New Zealand.
Brodie, an army reservist who lives with her partner Scott Stevens in Brisbane, suddenly fell ill and was hospitalised for HELLP syndrome, a variant of preeclampsia.
“Brodie was told she was in a lot of danger if they did not deliver the baby quickly,” Scott’s sister Louise writes on a fundraising page she has since set up to help the family.
Scott Stevens and Brodie Soster. Source: GoFundMe
Scott, who is in the army and was on a course in NSW at the time, quickly flew to be by her side.
"As you can imagine this has and still will be a very stressful [and] traumatic time for these new parents," she explains.
"If you know Scott and Brodie you would know they would do anything for their family, friends and country, both serving in the Australian Army.
"Billie needs to remain in the special care ward for around six months. Scott will take some paid leave but unfortunately Brodie does not qualify for any paid leave."
Louise described her new niece as "an incredible little fighter", but wants to make sure her parents aren't worried about money while she remains in hospital.
Through the popular fundraising site GoFundMe she has already received more than $21,000, far exceeding her initial goal of just $5000.
"We appreciate everybody's kindness and support over the past week and from the bottom of our hearts thank you so much for praying for Billie and sending lots of positive vibes her way.
"Billie has a very long road ahead of her and it would be great if we could reduce their stress a little."
Feature image via GoFundMe