Stella is the eldest child of Jo and Brad. Soon after Stella was born the hospital asked to see her again for some tests because her head size was smaller than normal. Stella had a major seizure while in the waiting room awaiting her results and was admitted to Intensive Care Unit. Stella has Polymicrogyria (PMG) – her brain hasn’t developed properly – and the worst case scenario was given. Stella would never walk or talk and would have a limited life expectancy.

After six long weeks in the hospital, Jo and Brad took Stella home. Happy to have her home, Jo and Brad had to adjust to new family life and the wide range of emotions that looking after Stella came with.

The family were referred to Jessie May by their Community Paediatric Doctor during a home visit. Ruth, a Jessie May Nurse, visited Jo and Stella. The first few visits focused on Jo to establish the support that both Jo and Stella needed.

“It was good to learn that my emotions I had been having were completely normal and I could see things in perspective. I’m at the stage where I’m having to think of myself a bit more as a mum and as a Carer. The respite visits make my ability to care better in the long term.”

Jo uses these visits to do some chores or takes Stella’s younger siblings to classes like swimming or gymnastics. Meanwhile Stella gets to do fun stuff like finger painting or baking.

Stella still has spells in hospital. Family life is split due to work and childcare commitments but a visit from a Jessie May Nurse in the hospital relieves some pressure.

Jo explains, “Jessie May Nurses provide emotional support and knowledge about what care is available to me and Stella. They fit right into the family.”

Stella Snow