Menangle mum Tiffany Hayman prepares to take part in Walk for Prems

DETERMINED: Menangle's Tiffany Hayman will take part in Walk for Prems on October 28 in honour of her sons Banjo (one) and Sidney (three), who were both born prematurely. Picture: Chris Lane
DETERMINED: Menangle's Tiffany Hayman will take part in Walk for Prems on October 28 in honour of her sons Banjo (one) and Sidney (three), who were both born prematurely. Picture: Chris Lane

When baby Banjo arrived prematurely, young mum Tiffany Hayman was left scared and uncertain about the future of her little treasure.

Banjo, weighing just two kilograms, was born nine weeks earlier than expected with several health issues including trouble breathing.

Ms Hayman spent four weeks waiting around hospital as her son undertook a plethora of health checks.

The Menangle resident was sitting in a waiting room when she discovered Life’s Little Treasures books which provided an unexpected source of hope.

“The Life’s Little Treasures books provide information about parenting so you didn’t feel quite as worried about your baby,” Ms Hayman said.

“The books had a lot of information and a breakdown of the doctors’ terminology being used by doctors which I didn’t previously understand.

“They had a little diary where you could write about your day-to-day experiences, plus shared stories of other people’s experiences.

“I treasure those books and they helped me through a tough time.”

Ms Hayman was living in Cooma at the time and said Banjo’s birth “caught me off guard”.

“It was not detected by the doctors until late,” she said.

“I couldn’t breathe properly a couple of weeks before Banjo was born. I went to Cooma Hospital and was then transferred to Canberra Hospital.

“After Banjo was born, he was rushed away and taken to the hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit for a couple of days before being moved to a special care unit for three weeks.

“Banjo couldn’t breathe properly and it put a lot of strain on his body.

“He needed a breathing apparatus and he was not feeding well. It was a scary time.”

One year later, Ms Hayman said her son was in good health.

“Banjo is still quite small and he will take time to catch up to others around his age,” she said.

"It's really amazing seeing how he's now talking and copying our behaviour. He’s a real character.”

Ms Hayman, who moved to Menangle earlier this year, now believes its her turn to say thank you to those who supported her during that tumultuous time last year.

The single mum will take part in a Walk for Prems event in Sydney on October 28.

Participants at 12 locations across Australia will walk simultaneously to raise awareness for premature babies like Banjo.

The event is presented by Baby Bunting and is the largest annual fundraiser for Life’s Little Treasures Foundation.

Life’s Little Treasures supports the families of babies born sick or prior to 37 weeks gestation.

Ms Hayman’s eldest son Sidney, now three, was also born prematurely at 36 weeks.

She said she couldn’t thank Life’s Little Treasures enough for doing great work.

“It’s my chance to repay the favour for them helping me,” she said.

For more details about Walk for Prems, visit walkforprems.org.au.