When families are rushed to hospital in a hurry when a child is sick or injured, the things they usually forget to pack are the essentials.
Cootamundra’s Janette Harris was in this situation 25 years ago when her twin granddaughters, Katie and Brooke, were sent after being born 24 weeks early.
They spent 182 days in the hospital and today, Brooke is about to get married and Katie lives a happy and fulfilled life.
Mrs Harris credits the amazing work of the doctors two-and-a-half decades ago with the lives of her grandchildren.
They were born in Wagga but quickly airlifted via Careflight to Westmead.
It was through the intervention of former politician, the late Alby Schultz, that the girls were kept in the same hospital.
When the family was told there were no beds in Sydney and the girls would be separated, Mr Schultz stepped in to ensure they remained together and their loving family could be by both of their sides.
Mrs Harris recalls the girls would fit into the palm of an adult hand.
“It is just amazing what those doctors were able to do with these tiny babies,” Mrs Harris said.
They performed heart surgery on the girls at three days old to give them a chance in life.
Once the girls were allowed home they would have to return to the hospital for regular check-ups.
“No-one was just a number; they were so beautiful to everyone,” Mrs Harris said.
“I have never forgotten what they did and I never will,” she continued.
Over the years she has donated to both Westmead and Careflight.
She recently noticed a recent post on Facebook about a need for children’s underwear and socks and she was inspired to help.
“I felt like this was my opportunity to do something for them,” Mrs Harris said.
She is collecting children’s underwear and socks to donate to Westmead Hospital for children who must stay longer than anticipated.
Mrs Harris has put the word out to her circle of family and friends to donate to the cause and will accept donations until the end of March.
Any size of child’s underwear and socks will be accepted and Mrs Harris said she would also take donations of adult-size underwear.
People have also donating cash which Mrs Harris used to purchase underwear and socks to add to her growing bundle.
To donate, contact Mrs Harris on 6942 3209.