Groundswell of support for expecting parents

LOCALS Brittany Collins and Joshua Rochow have been overwhelmed by the community’s support, ahead of the expected difficult arrival of their unborn baby.

Brittany, who is currently around 31 weeks pregnant, and Joshua will soon travel to Melbourne to give their yet-to-be-born baby girl, who has been diagnosed with Unbalanced Atrioventricular Septal Defect (AVSD), the best chance of survival.

Unbalanced AVSD is a birth defect that affects the centre of the heart and results in a hole between heart chambers, causing issues with the heart valves, which requires several surgeries for treatment.

The survival rate is around 75 per cent.

Brittany, of Kapunda, and Joshua, of Nuriootpa, will be required to stay in Melbourne until their baby has recovered from the second surgery, which will take place when she is four months old.

To help with the costs, colleagues of Brittany’s mum, Michele Collins, organised a fundraiser ‘Row 4 Heart’, which is a rowing challenge for teams of six.

The rowing event is already at its participant capacity, however there will be lots of other different and fun activities for people of all ages to enjoy.

“At 20 weeks they (specialists at the Women’s and Children’s Hospital) said ‘this is what it is that’s wrong, this is where you are having your baby, and there are no options’,” Michele said.

“I work at Child and Family Services, at Metro North, and one of the nurses down there, Lisa Jenkins, she came to me after hearing and said ‘we are thinking about doing a fundraiser and we would like to do it for Britt’.

“Lisa and another lady, Naomi Cryer, have been smashing it out, and there are so many people that are attending.”

Brittany said she was speechless about the support her and Joshua have received.

“I don’t know what to say, I wasn’t expecting any of this and I thought I was going to have to do it all by myself, with Josh, and then everyone all of a sudden came together and are doing this for us,” she said.

“I honestly feel like if I say thank you 1000 times it still wouldn’t be enough.”

The Row 4 Heart event will be held on Sunday, May 27, at CrossFit Northern Adelaide, 3/11 Wiley Street, Elizabeth South.

The rowing and activities part of the day will be held from 9am-noon, with a sausage-sizzle and presentations to follow.

For more information, visit the Row 4 Heart Facebook event page or call Naomi (0418 897 956) or Lisa (0403 798 344).

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Growing up in Roseworthy and attending Kapunda High School, Laura joins The Bunyip in June, 2016 whilst completing the final year of a double degree in Journalism and International Relations at University of SA. This is Laura's first role as a Journalist following a stint at Gawler Council in the Communications Department. She will cover the news in the Playford and Mallala council regions. Outside of work, Laura enjoys anything health and well-being related, and can be regularly seen shopping for fresh, healthy produce at local markets.

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