TARA AND CALEECI
WORDS KATE CLIFFORD PHOTOS CHESTERTON SMITH PHOTOGRAPHY
TARA ROBINSON IS THE EPITOME OF INSPIRATION AND COURAGE, HAVING ENDURED MORE EMOTIONAL UPS AND DOWNS THAN ANY MOTHER SHOULD. WITH THE LOSS OF TWO CHILDREN TO A RARE CARDIAC DISEASE, SHE CAME CLOSE TO DEATH HERSELF AND IS NOW CONQUERING IT ALL THROUGH HELPING OTHERS.
ara and Reice Robinson are your typical married couple; they work hard, are community-minded and are deeply in love. Their happiness is obvious as they talk candidly about their first meeting in Mooloolaba, sharing a kiss on the beach as they brought in the New Year in 2006, before tying the knot at the same spot a year later. But sadly, behind the Bli Bli couple’s smiles and laughter is a deep and neverending pain for the loss of their two sons, Allachi and Sasha, who both died from a rare and extreme cardiac disease, Pulmonary Atresia, two years apart. Doctors told Tara and Reice after the death of Allachi in the womb at 38 weeks, it would be unlikely a future baby would be born with the same defect – in fact they gave them a one in a million chance of it happening twice. Even four years on, the memories are still raw and very real for the couple. “I knew I was pregnant after two weeks. I remember having these crazy cravings for greasy KFC and chocolate sauce, together,” Tara says, sitting down with her husband and I over a cup of coffee. “Other than the weird cravings and the fact that I felt quite sick throughout the pregnancy, everything was
going normal. Nothing was picked up at the earlier scans so we were all good.” “That all changed of course at 37 weeks when I had to go for a scan to check if my placenta had moved. The person who was doing the scan randomly had a look at little bub’s heart and saw that something looked a bit odd,” Tara says. Tara and Reice were rushed to the Mater Hospital in Brisbane to speak to the specialised team in the paediatric and cardiac wards. They were told the right side of their soon-to-be-born son’s heart had not grown to size, the valve where the blood flows to the lungs was blocked and was thin, which meant blood could not go to the lungs once he was born, and there was also a hole in his heart. They were told if Allachi survived the birth, he might not live past the first day. A natural birth was planned the next week and the couple moved into the Ronald McDonald Charity House, opposite to the Mater Hospital, having scans once a day to check on Allachi’s progress. Everything was going well, until one afternoon, their world fell apart. “I hadn’t felt bub move and just thought, well maybe he is just getting ready to come. But late afternoon about 4pm, we got the sad news he had passed in the womb,” Tara says. profilemag.com.au
Published on Jun 1, 2014