Calendar girls born too soon say thanks to hospital staff

WITH TWO healthy calendar girls, the Prodger family of McKees Hill are twice as grateful to the staff and facilities at Lismore Base Hospital's Children's Ward and Special Care Nursery.

Miss October, Tarli Prodger, age 10, who was born premature with the Our Kids Calendar. Her sister Mia, also born premature, was an Our Kids calendar girl in 2009. With parents Susan and Dean Prodger. Photo Melissa Gulbin / The Northern Star
Miss October, Tarli Prodger, age 10, who was born premature with the Our Kids Calendar. Her sister Mia, also born premature, was an Our Kids calendar girl in 2009. With parents Susan and Dean Prodger. Photo Melissa Gulbin / The Northern Star Melissa Gulbin

Born 10 years ago at only 783grams, their quick-witted first-born, Tarli, is the picture of health as Miss October in the 2016 Our Kids Calendar. Her sister Mia, also born premature and underweight, featured as a baby in the 2009 calendar.

When Tarli was diagnosed at 19 weeks gestation with intrauterine growth restriction and her mother later with renal failure, the Prodgers were told one or both of them may not make it. Unable to feed, Tarli spent her first three months between Lismore Base Hospital and The Mater in Brisbane.

"I feel like I'm lucky to be alive," said the aspiring vet from Blue Hills College.

Now in its 14th year, funds from the Our Kids calendar go toward purchasing lifesaving equipment for the Children's Ward and Special Care Nursery.

The calendar features children who have spent time in Lismore Base Hospital. The calendar has been beautifully photographed by former Northern Star photographer Jacklyn Wagner and designed by Soren Hjorth of Graffiti Design.

ABOVE: Zeplin has had trouble with his feeding from birth and has needed supplementary feeds through a nasogastric tube.
ABOVE: Zeplin has had trouble with his feeding from birth and has needed supplementary feeds through a nasogastric tube. Jacklyn Wagner Melissa Gulbin

To be different this year, Jacklyn has taken the much loved Calendar Kids to Our House, the accommodation built for patients and families who come to Lismore for Medical treatment.

"The Calendar is one of Our Kids Signature Projects - it celebrates our kids who've had a tough journey and conveys their stories. This is who we are and why we are here," said Rebekka Battista, Our Kids' fundraising coordinator.

Local business sponsorships covered the full cost of the production, allowing all funds raised to go directly to Our Kids.

Sponsors: SCU, Westpac Bank, Richmond Waste, North Coast Radiology, Goonellabah Medical Centre, Austbroker NCFS, McDonalds, Sullivan Nicolaides Pathology, Telstra Countrywide, Budget Eyewear, Elgas, WCA Chartered Accountants, Graphiti-Design and Lismore Printery.

Get your calendar

The calendar is for sale for $20. Available online at ourkids.org.au or Westpac Bank (Lismore, Casino and Ballina) Lismore Base Hospital, McDonalds, Budget Eyewear, East Ballina Foodstore, Kyogle Dentists, Lennox Head Pharmacy, MacDonald's Pharmacy, Scotts@ Molesworth, Angus and Coote and the Book Warehouse



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