I wish to bring to your attention a truly heart-breaking situation with a family I know. I met Emma and Sean, and their little 4-year-old boy Noah, through Emma’s mum and dad Cathy and Gary McPhee. For several years I worked with Cathy, a truly beautiful person, in residential aged care.
Noah has had an incredibly difficult start to life, as well as massive and ongoing health struggles, and a very troubling and uncertain path forward. His parents Emma and Sean, with wonderful help from Cathy and Gary, have supported him through twelve heart operations, which have required multiple expensive stays in Melbourne. In addition to these major surgical interventions, Noah copes with a range of serious medical conditions on an ongoing basis. The level of courage, commitment and self-sacrifice this has demanded of Emma and Sean is beyond imagining.
When one might be tempted to think that things simply can’t get any more difficult, life, in its piercing unfairness, answers: “Yes, they can.” On 26 October, Sean, aged 35, father of Noah and husband to Emma, was diagnosed with incurable stage 4 bowel cancer and liver metastases. Emma and Noah are now preparing for life without him.
Only Emma, Sean, Noah, Cathy, Gary and their extended family and friends can carry the immense pain of this reality; that is their awful burden to bear, and theirs alone. But others, such as you, can help in a practical way. A “GoFundMe” weblink has been established in order to raise funds to support Emma and Noah when Sean is gone. If, when you read the story below, it moves your heart, I invite you to share the story on Facebook. If you yourself wish to contribute to the GoFundMe campaign that would, of course, be deeply appreciated.