Bella's gift after balcony tragedy
EVEN though she is no longer with us, little Bella Diefenbach could help her unborn sibling into the world.
At 7½ weeks, Bella's life was cut tragically short when, on May 29 last year, a floorboard on the front deck of her Yeppoon family home gave way and she fell three metres.
After almost a year of grieving, parents Jennie and Adam can now smile knowing Bella's legacy will live on in the form of a much-needed machine for pregnant women at the Capricorn Coast Hospital and Health Service.
And what's more, Jennie is 28 weeks pregnant, and the state-of-the-art cardiotochograph (CTG) machine honouring Bella's memory could help during her pregnancy.
As mum Jennie put it, “even the smallest of feet have the power to leave everlasting footprints on this world,” which is a poem written on the machine's special plaque.
After Bella's passing, her family and members of the community wanted to do something special to ensure that she was never forgotten.
They held a fundraising event, called Bella's Appeal, to improve facilities for children at the Capricorn Coast Hospital and to reduce the need for families to travel to Rockhampton.
Bella's Appeal consisted of a charity concert and afternoon tea at St Brendan's College and auctions of artwork and other items donated by the public.
More than $18,000 was raised, and funds from the appeal also bought the hospital an abdominal probe for use with ultrasound equipment.
Bella's dad Adam said yesterday Jennie had to travel to Rockhampton three times during her pregnancy with Bella, so they wanted something in Yeppoon to save expecting mothers the long trip.
“It's great, it gives us a feeling of community support. We knew people were thinking of us during that time and it was helpful during our grief, it helped us to get some sentiment of normal life,” he said.
Nurse unit manager of the Women and Family Program, Susan Campbell, said the CTG machine monitored babies' heartbeats and assisted with foetal assessment during pregnancy and would be a wonderful asset to the service.
The couple thanked their families, St Brendan's College, Yeppoon State High School, the Uniting Church, all those who performed and donated and the community for support.