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Take My Breath Away

The saying goes somewhat like this “you should not judge your life by the breaths you take but by the moments that take your breath away”. I have been so lucky to have experienced many of these moments and I remain hungry for more. The joy of a race well run, a junior netball team winning, the exhilaration of racing down a mountain side on skis, a bareback canter through the bush, a newborn baby; such an incredible wonder that remains surreal for that first night of motherhood, and still when my first child of 16 sleeps I still stare and softly smile in wonder, she is mine.

This brings me to one of the worst moments of my life, one which takes your breath away in a rush of anguish. Luckily, I have not had them in immeasurable and debilitating numbers, yet inevitably we will all experience the greatest loss, that of those we love.

In the small town of Condobolin in the year 1999, my 2nd born daughter at 7 months of age became hot and irritable. By 10am that night her fever had not subsided and she began to vomit and I observed small spots on her body. Leaving my husband at home with our 2 ½ year old the few kilometres up to the hospital where a blur and bless the small country towns I was taken straight into emergency with a very plump, upset baby.

Even now, 13 years later the words “Yes, the rash looks nasty” spoken by the doctor felt like a club thudding into my insides. Within the previous 2 months Condobolin had lost an adult male to meningococcal and it was the only thing on my mind. I was silent and teary and ridden inside with emotions of despair, hope, strength and weakness all at the same time. All I could do was hold and console my baby girl.

The ensuing 24 hours involved needles, broad spectrum antibiotics, ambulance transport to Orange Base Hospital, arm braces on chubby baby arms so she couldn’t pull needles out, tears and weariness and the inevitable waiting.

Today my 14 year old is a bubbly athletic young lady whom makes me so proud in so many ways. The amazing country doctors and nurses who are quick and efficient care of my little one resulted in her complete recovery. My family and I will remember that doctor’s name till the day we die and we thanked him verbally and with a thankyou card with our heartfelt thanks which just doesn’t seem enough. I hope all those passionate doctors and nurses throughout their career will experience moments of breathtaking relief, joy and purpose in abundance so that they will have the strength and tenacity to get through those moments of anguished breath.


Posted by steph72, 23rd September 2013


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  • Oh wow I was holding my breath reading your story … thank god she is ok

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  • What a truly horrible moment in time.

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  • I think congratulations go to you also as you were on top of your daughters symptoms, and you played a very important part in getting her the medical attention she needed.

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  • So glad your story had a happy ending – don’t need more tears today!

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  • Love how you count the sleeps. Great story wish you all the happiness life as to offer

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