Editors Note: This is part 2 of a previous article, “Our Legacy From a Special Boy Carter”
Word from the President:
Jarade and Ashleigh McFillin were expecting their first child in May of 2013. Everyone was ecstatic as this was to be the 5th grandchild of our very dear friends, Stuart and Carol, of over 20 years. We had seen Ashleigh grow into a beautiful young women and had known Jarade since he was 18. It was during our yearly January camping holiday with all the families, that we had been doing for a number of years, that Jarade and Ashleigh had to return to Brisbane for a 20-week scan. They returned with some news that would eventually turn their world upside down. Their baby had a heart condition. It was plumbed backwards.
What was to happen in the following months you would not wish on anyone. The rollercoaster of emotions that Ashleigh and Jarade would go through were more than anybody should have to bare.
Baby Carter Desmond McFillin was born 5 weeks and 1 day early, on the 26th of April 2013, and would require heart surgery to have a chance at life.
During his short life, Carter developed many complications, that stopped the heart surgery from going ahead.
Although he fought so bravely through all of this, he was unable to have that heart surgery and sadly, passed away on the 26th of May 2013.
Ashleigh and Jarade were so strong through all of this. Such a young beautiful couple, they did not deserve this; no parent deserves this. No parent deserves to lose a child Fortunately, they had wonderful family and friends to support them through this terrible time. This was the first and, I hope, the last time I would have to attend a funeral of an infant. And while the family has a huge support, Jarade and Ashleigh inspired everyone with their courage
At a family gathering in October of 2013, Ashleigh and Jarade proudly announced that they were expecting another child in June of the following year. This was such a beautiful announcement to end what had been such a traumatic and emotional year for them.
Hudson Carter McFillin was born on the 22nd June 2014, this family could not have been happier, and Hudson could not have been loved more. A precious beautiful little boy with such a gentle nature… he was perfect.
In September of last year my husband Tony and I, attended an event where we had the opportunity to listen to a guest speaker talk about the loss of her child 13 years ago and how she and her family coped with that loss. Her foundation has grown every year during those thirteen years and raises much needed funds for the children’s hospital
Leaving the event I turned to my husband and said “I want to do something like this for Ashleigh and Jarade. I had been deeply moved by this talk and felt a great yearning to do something, anything to help those who may have to go through or are going through a similar situation that Ashleigh and Jarade had gone through that year.
Thinking about the babies and children going through this day after day. Thinking about the parents of those children with heart disease or heart conditions that may have to come from a rural or remote town, having to uplift their lives and come to an unfamiliar place while their child was in hospital getting all of the possible medical support they could.
I felt that I could do something to help those babies or those parents and, hopefully, make life a little easier for them. Most of all I wanted to show Ashleigh and Jarade that even though my family had never experienced a loss like this, I still felt their pain and wanted to do something to help.
The next step was to ask for Ashleigh and Jarade’s blessing to do this, as this story was about their lives.
After discussing this with my family, I thought the best time to speak to Ashleigh and Jarade would be at Christmas. Christmas day came and we were spending the afternoon with their family and I just didn’t feel right about bringing up the subject, and I’m glad I didn’t as Ashleigh and Jarade had some news for us, they were expecting their 3rd child in July 2016, once again everyone was ecstatic for such a beautiful family, they deserved all the happiness in the world.
In January of this year we finally spoke to Ashleigh and Jarade asking for their permission and their blessing to go ahead with Carters Cause, giving them the vision I had seen back in September of last year. Wanting them to know that I wanted to do something, so that families like theirs didn’t have to worry when they were in a strange place with a sick child in the hospital. Ashleigh and Jarade gave us their permission and their blessing, and I feel that it is a privilege to be doing this for them.