Our first child, Maisie, made her appearance on a beautiful summer’s day in June 2015.
But within less than 24 hours, just as we were about to leave the hospital, we heard the words no parent wants to hear.
‘There’s something wrong with your baby’s heart.’
The world had suddenly been turned upside down and inside out. ‘Why didn’t we know?’, ‘Will she make it?’, ‘what next?’, we thought.
‘Maisie only has half a heart, and if we don’t operate in the next 24 hours, she won’t make it’, the doctors said.
So, Maisie had the first of many open heart surgeries when she was just two days old, her heart just the size of a small walnut. She fought for survival and faced multiple complications – until, six months later, we made it home.
Our initiation into parenthood was strange – learning how to be ‘Mum’ and ‘Dad’, but also taking a crash course in medicine.
Maisie is now five years old, and to look at her, you wouldn’t believe how much she’s been through. She makes us proud every single day.
It is through my own experiences of loneliness, isolation and depression, that I set off on a mission to speak to hundreds of other parents raising children with health needs to see if they experienced the same feelings. Interestingly, over 90 per cent of them did. I created Friendili to change that.
By coming together and sharing our experiences of parenthood, health and disability, we know we’re not alone. Our mission is based on so much more than creating a parenting app – we’ve set out to build a global health support network for all families on health journeys – from prematurity and postnatal depression, to autism, ADHD, rare disease and more.
We firmly believe that even if your journey is ‘different’, you shouldn’t do it alone. We’re stronger together, and wherever you are in your family journey, we want you to know that we’re with you. 🧡