“We arrived at night,” her mum Carmel said. “I remember the hospital was big, noisy, and had lots of corridors. When we got here, we had no idea what was wrong with Emma. We were confronted with the daunting prospect of not knowing what the future was for Emma or our family.”
Emma spent the next 238 days on the ward, receiving prolonged mechanical ventilation and a tracheostomy tube. Very slowly but steadily she made a full recovery and returned home to Mildura. Today Emma is a healthy, happy and active 10 year old, and last week she visited the RCH with her parents and younger siblings to see her former medical team.
“The ICU staff are an amazing bunch of talented, friendly and caring people. They diagnosed us and gave us the best possible care we could have received. We developed really good friendships with other ICU families and staff,” Carmel said.
“We waited a few years before we told Emma. We use it as a positive thing. The experience taught us lots of things and we’re stronger people as a result.”