Five year old Gemma Tregent is a happy and cheeky girl that enjoys music, painting and playing tricks on people, but she also requires constant care for her basic needs.
Gemma has severe cerebral palsy and epilepsy which is the result of a hypoxic brain injury from when she was born. Because of her condition Gemma is unable to walk or talk, is peg-fed and has up to four or more seizures per day.
With Gemma often in and out of hospital, her mother Ally says that the family have learnt to take it one day at a time.
“We never know what’s going to happen with Gemma. She gets regular chest infections and her seizures are out of control – it’s frustrating but it must feel horrible for her. I can’t imagine what she’s going through.”
The Tregent family turned to Very Special Kids when Gemma was six months old, for respite care at Very Special Kids Hospice and emotional support.
“Gemma loves staying at the Hospice. Last year she didn’t spend much time at kinder due to being really unwell, so she loves being around the other kids, especially kids that are more like her”
Ally says that having access to Very Special Kids Hospice allows her and her partner Lucas to do things they wouldn’t normally have the chance to do.
“Having the respite makes a lot of difference. It gives us time to catch up on sleep, see friends and spend time with our other daughter Grace.”
Very Special Kids also helps the Tregent family by providing a trained Family Support Practitioner for emotional support and guidance.
“Our support worker is Angela and she’s been amazing. Sometimes it gets very tough so it’s really helpful to have someone to talk to. Her support is always consistent and she understands when other people don’t.”
Ride the extra mile to support sick children like Gemma
On the 11-17 March the Chain Reaction Ultimate Corporate Bike Challenge is taking place to raise funds for sick children like Gemma.
The funds raised from the challenge are the catalyst for a large and important upgrade to the Hospice to ensure Very Special Kids can continue to provide benchmark standards of 24-hour nursing care for children with life-threatening conditions.