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Rallying the Gippsland community together for the second Walk for Prems in Warragul are (from left) David, 10-year-old Thomas and Serena Arnold of Warragul. 

Rallying the Gippsland community together for the second Walk for Prems in Warragul are (from left) David, 10-year-old Thomas and Serena Arnold of Warragul. 

“You don’t know it’s going to happen, until it then happens.”

These are the words of Warragul mother Serena Arnold upon reflecting on the birth of her now 10-year-old son Thomas.

Serena was just 32 weeks pregnant when she was rushed to a Melbourne hospital.  Thomas was born weighing just 1.2kg and, as a result, spent five weeks in the NICU.

In Australia, it is now estimated that 17 per cent of babies born require special care or neonatal intensive care.  For some, it is a short stay.  For others, it can be weeks or even months.

These weeks surrounded by tiny babies and their parents had a profound impact on Serena and husband David who have volunteered at hospitals and Ronald McDonald House in the 10 years since.

“It’s incredible common but something that’s not talked about prior to having a child,” said David.

The Arnold family will rally the community together when Walk for Prems Gippsland returns for its second year on Sunday, October 28.


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