Locals give to family of baby girl fighting for her life
AFTER noticing her one-year-old daughter was having trouble sitting up and crawling, Gladstone woman Robin Berthelsen made a trip to hospital.
Little did the family know the worst news was to come.
After an ultrasound at Gladstone Hospital revealed Bella had a cyst on her brain, she was transferred to Lady Cilento Children's Hospital in Brisbane on September 1.
Next morning the bad news came from the tests results of an MRI scan. The left side of Bella's brain had an additional tumour known as anaplastic ependymoma, an aggressive cancer, that had taken over 25% of her brain.
Bella's parents could do nothing but watch as their daughter's condition deteriorated and surgery was abandoned as she lost too much blood.
"Due to a deterioration in her condition Bella went in for urgent surgery last Wednesday (September 7) where the neurosurgeon attempted to remove her tumour," Robin said.
"But she needed multiple blood transfusions and the neurosurgeon was not able to remove it all.
"Bella underwent her fourth and final surgery (for the time being) on Friday to replace her skull bone.
"The plan now will be for chemotherapy once she has recovered from the surgery."
Bella has difficulty moving the right side of her body, can not sit up and is feeding from a nasal gastric tube.
Robin was told her daughter would also will also suffer from a visual impairment.
Bella parents, Robin and dad Dan Bates, will be staying in Brisbane during Bella's treatment and will not be working.
Luckily, old colleagues of Dan's had come up with a plan to make the family's life a bit easier, setting up a Go Fund Me Page for people to donate to.
In just one week, Gladstone residents and others have raised nearly $40,000 for the family.
"We are so grateful for all of the donations that have been made to the Go Fund Me page," Robin said.
We just want people to know how grateful we are.
"We are also lucky that both of our employers have told us that we have a job to come back to when it is possible."
Dan works at Gladstone High Risk Solutions. Robin is due to start at Gladstone Area Water Board.
"We also want to encourage people to donate to charities such as The Kids Cancer Project, Brain Child Foundation and Kids With Cancer," Robin said.