Little Ava’s grit inspires on Father’s Day

 

OLIVER Coppins said he would never forget his daughter's first smile at six weeks old during her chemotherapy. Mr Coppins has since used his "rollercoaster" experience to connect with other fathers.

Mr Coppins said his now one-year-old daughter Ava Coppins was in remission.

He said she had grown to become one cheeky, sassy and smart kid.

"She loves clapping and waving her hands about, she's got beautiful dimples just below her right eye when she smiles just like her mum," he said.

"She's developing and doing everything she's meant to be doing.

"It's so nice to see her with no tubes attached and just seeing her as she's meant to be from the start."

Mr Coppins said the battle against acute megakaryoblastic leukaemia began when Ava was born.

He said his first Father's Day was spent at the Royal Children's Hospital amid a flurry of flights to and from Melbourne for treatment.

Oliver Coppins and his daughter Ava, who was diagnosed with acute megakaryoblastic leukaemia when she was born in August 2019. Ava is now in remission and ahead of Father's Day.
Oliver Coppins and his daughter Ava, who was diagnosed with acute megakaryoblastic leukaemia when she was born in August 2019. Ava is now in remission and ahead of Father's Day.

"That was a time charged with emotion and this Father's Day will have similar emotions but for different reasons," he said.

"We're more grateful."

Mr Coppins said cancer charity Redkite supported him and his wife Holly Coppins through the difficult time by connecting them with parents experiencing similar challenges and by providing a support pack, which he said was a "beautiful gesture" containing items parents might need in hospital.

Along with attending fortnightly zoom meetings with other parents, Mr Coppins has recently joined Redkite's Dad's Connect Group.

"It's a lovely forum," he said.

"Dads tend to try to be emotionally strong for the family and be the one everyone can come to but that really drains the individual as well, so it's really good for the dads to get together and chat about their situation and new ways of doing things."

Mr Coppins said one special moment during his fatherhood was witnessing Ava recognise his deep voice and turn towards him whenever he walked into her hospital room.

He said it took a "massive team" of family, friends and support organisations to get a child "through treatment and out the other side".

To join Redkite's Connect Group for Dads visit redkite.org.au/connect

annie.mccann@news.com.au

Originally published as Little Ava's grit inspires on Father's Day



PHOTOS: Inside Gladstone’s proposed quarantine camp

Premium Content PHOTOS: Inside Gladstone’s proposed quarantine camp

Miners and workers at the facility would be moved to Gladstone Hotels.

$39M support package announced for rural shows

Premium Content $39M support package announced for rural shows

Australian Government funding is now available for rural shows and field days which...

Quarantine camps ‘like five star resorts’: Butcher

Premium Content Quarantine camps ‘like five star resorts’: Butcher

Mining camps to be used as quarantine hubs and the miners go to Gladstone...