Joshua has been nominated for our 2013 Premmie Hero Volunteer Awards.
Eighteen years ago, Joshua was born at 27+5 weeks weighing 1420 grams. He was the first premature babies to be born and survive at the Logan Hospital in Queensland. At the time, the hospitals nursery had only been open for one week so they were not equipped to deal with babies born preterm.
For the first three years, Joshua’s family returned to the hospital to offer support to parents and visited the nursery each Christmas Eve. Joshua made the decision at a young age that this was going to be his ‘job’ every year, bringing hope to families at a time when they needed to smile.
Each Christmas Eve and on his milestone birthdays, Joshua purchases gifts for each of the babies and delivers presents and hampers to the parents of premature babies being cared for in the Special Care Nursery.
Joshua simply wants the families to know that there is ‘a light at the end of the tunnel’. With his Christmas Eve tradition now firmly established in the Logan area, Josh also receives donations of gifts from local businesses and clubs to boost his Christmas hampers.
Last year was the hardest year for him as he had his first baby blue delivery. When the nurses at the hospital asked him if he still wanted the babies bear to go to the mum, through tears he said ‘just because the angels have got him, he still needs his bear.’ Joshua has been asked by many how long he thinks he will continue to bring hope to the parents and he simply tells them ‘until no one smiles anymore’. Joshua has cuddled mums that have been at breaking point, just to see them smile.
Joshua has a heart of gold and not only defied all odds when born early himself, for fifteen years he has been providing hope to families who have experienced a journey similar to his own families. He is an amazing young man determined to make a difference each year for families in the premmie community.
Nominations have now closed for our Premmie Hero Volunteer Awards. Winners will be announced in early October 2013.
You can view further 2013 nominee profile’s here.