Never underestimate how much mums care about other mums.
Sydney mum Lauren Cappello has had an extremely tough time lately. In April this year, she gave birth to a son, Dominic. When he was just two days old, he was diagnosed with Hirschsprung’s disease. Lauren and her husband Michael were told Dominic might only live until he’s six, and that he’ll never be able to eat normally.
Dominic is still in hospital, and it could be months before he comes home. Cappello is spending as much time as she can with him, while her husband has taken time off work to keep things “normal” for their daughter Savanna.
With the family getting by on just a carer’s payment, Cappello has been unable to keep up repayments on her car, and was told it would be repossessed next week. Yesterday she posted about it on her Facebook mums’ group, Inner West Mums, asking for advice on cheap, reliable cars.
“Because I’ve been so sleep deprived, I didn’t really realise what I was writing,” Cappello tells Mamamia. “It wasn’t a call for help, it was just, ‘Can someone tell me what’s a good car?'”
She never expected what happened next. A few hours later, one of the other mums in the group, Sara Jane Jordan, sent her a private message, offering her a Mazda. Cappello describes Jordan as “the most amazing lady”.
“I’ve never met her,” she says, still sounding stunned by the generous offer. “Michael and I are so grateful for this amazing act of kindness.”
The car gifted to Lauren Cappello. Image supplied.
Cappello has had a huge amount of support from the Facebook group. It began when she posted soon after Dominic's birth, asking how other mums coped with having a child in hospital.
"It all went from there," she remembers. "When it was first made known to the group that Dom wasn’t well, and at that time, we didn’t see him coming home from hospital, unfortunately, I had mums private messaging me, saying, 'Can I drop you off some frozen meals for the rest of the week?' 'Can I drop you out a Coles voucher?'"
Cappello can't help crying as she describes the kindness of strangers.
"I've come home and there's been a bunch of flowers and an esky full of home-cooked meals at my front door, and I don’t know who it was. It's blown me away."
Baby Dominic in hospital. Photo supplied.
When Mamamia spoke to Cappello today, Dominic had been given a short amount of time off his machine, and she was walking around the hospital with him strapped to her chest.
"He absolutely loves just being snuggled up to me," she says. "He's very smiley when he wakes up in the morning. He’s just so chilled out, considering all he’s been through. He doesn’t cry through his blood tests anymore because he knows they’re coming.
"He’s just a little tough cookie."
The Cappellos have set up a Go Fund Me page for anyone who would like to help out with Dominic's medical expenses.