Grateful mum wants to help

Leanne Dennien and baby Cooper, now a happy and healthy eight-month-old after coming into the world 13 weeks prematurely. Mrs Dennien will hold an auction on June 10 to raise funds for the care of premature and sick babies.
Leanne Dennien and baby Cooper, now a happy and healthy eight-month-old after coming into the world 13 weeks prematurely. Mrs Dennien will hold an auction on June 10 to raise funds for the care of premature and sick babies. Peter Holt

IMAGINE being able to hold your newborn baby in the palm of your hand.

Leanne Dennien and her husband Gav could, when their son, Cooper, was born 13 weeks prematurely in August last year.

Cooper spent three months at the Townsville Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and the Mackay Special Care Nursery while he was nursed to good health.

During that time, Mr and Mrs Dennien stayed at Ronald McDonald House.

Cooper is now a happy and healthy eight-month-old baby and to show their gratitude, Mrs Dennien is raising money and awareness for those who helped her.

She has created a Facebook group, Where Miracles Happen, which to date has more than 1900 members.

"I was very sick at the beginning of my pregnancy; I had pre-eclampsia which developed into Hellp (which is) when your body rejects foreign objects and (my body) started shutting down," Mrs Dennien said.

"I flew out to Townsville on Thursday night with the Royal Flying Doctors Service and I had him at 2am on the Monday."

Recovering in intensive care, she didn't see Cooper until three days after giving birth.

"At that time he weighed 850 grams - he could sit in your palm," she said.

"I want to raise awareness to show people what the units do; they're incredible and I owe them my life."

Mrs Dennien, along with organisers Chantelle Fielding and Sheree Gray, will hold an auction to raise money on June 10.

The event will start at the Northern Beaches Bowls Club at 3pm.

"It's for premature babies and sick babies; sometimes full-term babies are born sick as well," she said.

"I honestly feel like I owe the doctors and nurses so much and it makes me feel like a better person for doing this.

"I want to raise $100,000 to donate to mums, dads, the units, Ronald McDonald House and the Royal Flying Doctor Service."

Topics:  babies facebook fundraiser premature ronald mcdonald house

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