Jude & Micah's story

While baby Jude endured months of treatment, his family found a home-away-from-home.

Jude & Micah

Jude & Micah's story

Born a survivor

From the very beginning, little Jude has been a fighter. As the youngest son of Nathan and Samantha, Jude has continued to conquer what life throws at him since first being diagnosed with transient abnormal myelopoiesis (TAM) – a bone marrow disorder associated with infants who have Trisomy 21 (T21)/Down syndrome, and then later acute myeloid leukemia (AML).

Parkville
Monash

Although Jude was born in Bendigo, he was transferred to Monash Children’s Hospital soon after and placed in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit for intervention as he was struggling to breathe.

Unfortunately, Jude’s illness did not resolve on its own, and he required extra medical intervention and eight weeks in hospital, during which time the family was able stay together at Ronald McDonald House Monash.

Seven months later, Jude and his family were back in hospital after Jude developed acute myeloid leukemia.

“As soon as I was told we needed to come to Melbourne, I asked our paediatrician for a referral to Ronald McDonald House because we knew, from our time in the House at Monash, they were an amazing support,” says Sam. “It was seamless, and we were able to stay there from basically the beginning.”

The family stayed at Ronald McDonald House Parkville for five months while Jude underwent treatment at the Royal Children’s Hospital, just across the road.
The accommodation at Ronald McDonald House helped provide Jude’s family with rare moments of relief throughout his treatment.

Even Jude’s older brother Micah, 4, was a fan of the House and loved being close to all the action. “He always asks to go back,” says Nathan. “He keeps asking if we can go get ice cream or walk to the zoo.”

“Thankfully, there is currently no need to return as Jude is in remission with regular monitoring ensuring his health remains in tip top shape,” says Sam. “As far as recurrence or risk of other leukemia’s we’re not certain what the future holds but it seems the longer he stays in remission the less chance of him relapsing.”

Original story written by Alana Wulff | Photography: Little Red Robin Photography
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