The Tukaki-Phillips Family

The Tukaki-Phillips family were originally from Christchurch and now have a house in Taupo. However, to this young family of five, Ronald McDonald House Auckland has represented more of a home to them recently in many ways. “We would be completely lost without it” says Father Daemion.

Their little girl Bella – middle child with older sister Paige, and younger brother Isaac - was born in 2010 with Meconium. The family was based at the House while Bella was being treated in PICU at Starship for this. Which is when Doctors picked up another condition entirely – Bella had the rare liver disease Biliaryatresia requiring her risky, but life-saving liver transplant.

Bella’s treatment required extensive stays at the House. But during times when they were at home-towns Christchurch, and later Taupo, being away from the specialist doctors at Starship was just too unsettling recalls Mother Chantel, “It was great to be home, but the worry outweighed that happiness by far”.
 
The House has created space for family life to continue for them; the necessary attention and focus into Bella’s demanding medical journey and healing, and meanwhile education and social interaction was possible for school-aged older sister Paige, who attended the onsite House school– a relief for Chantel, “That’s just great as it brings some normalcy into her life and respite for us”.
 
And their efforts have paid off. The family are quietly overjoyed with Bella’s healing so far. With her parents having seen many a moment where her little life was hanging in the balance, she is on course to look forward to a healthy, full life like most baby girls her age.
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