York Hutchison-Liston had his first open heart surgery at just four days old. The now thirteen-month-old has spent most of his life in hospital.
Severe Aortic Stenosis was picked up on an ultrasound when his mum, Maddison, was still pregnant. The Hutchison-Liston family lives in Ballarat, where they were quickly transferred to the Royal Women’s Hospital in Melbourne to have Maddison closely monitored until York was born. Arriving at almost 36 weeks, her little boy went straight to paediatric intensive care to fight for his tiny life. He was there for 105 days until he was transferred to the cardiac ward at the Royal Children’s Hospital (RCH).
For Maddison and her husband Joshua, coming to terms with the diagnosis of their sick newborn was confronting enough, without the logistical nightmare of the family’s home and jobs being based over an hour away from their son’s treating hospital.
It was through this time of turmoil that they found help in Ronald McDonald House Charities Australia. The charity has 18 Houses throughout Australia that provide a homely and inviting place to stay for parents, guardians, carers and siblings while a child is undergoing treatment in a nearby hospital.
Maddison moved into a Ronald McDonald House the day she went into labour, which allowed her to spend every day by her boy’s side, whilst Joshua juggled work in Ballarat during the week, and joined her in Melbourne on weekends.
“Without the ability to stay so close to the hospital, we would have been in serious trouble financially. We wouldn’t have been able to afford to relocate to Melbourne,” Maddison says.