A strong community of family and friends is rallying around Sarah and James Tarasenko of Chittaway Bay who have a seriously ill newborn baby.
Archie Tarasenko, a micro baby, was born 14 weeks premature on December 28 and has since survived five high-risk surgeries and had more than 20 blood transfusions.
Just days before Christmas 2020, 26-week pregnant Sarah and James went to a routine check-up only to be told she had pre-eclampsia and HELLP Syndrome and could not go home until her child was born.
Pre-eclampsia is a pregnancy complication characterised by high blood pressure and it usually begins after 20 weeks of pregnancy.
HELLP or Hemolysis, is elevated liver enzymes and a low platelet count and is a disorder of the liver and blood that can be fatal if it is left untreated.
Archie weighed just 509 grams when he was born, and currently he weighs 3.3kgs and has metabolic bone disease, rickets, hypothyroidism, severe chronic lung disease and short gut syndrome.
Since his birth, Archie has spent five months in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit of four different hospitals and has survived five high-risk surgeries and has had more than 20 blood transfusions.
He still has a long battle ahead with more surgeries planned in the future.
“He’s been through so much already and he’s still only so little,” said Archie’s mum, Sarah.
“He fought so hard to stay alive for us.
“We’ll do anything for him.”
Friends and family of the Tarasenko family have organised a fundraiser on Saturday, June 19, to support ongoing medical care for little Archie and to support his parents.
The day will start with a motorcycle ride from The Dam Hotel in Hamlyn Terrace at 9am to Gosford RSL, where there will be a prize raffle and sausage sizzle.
The extended family has also set up a Lifeblood Team called Team Archie where everyone who donates blood will be tallied to show support to the family.
Lifeblood will be at the fundraiser, providing information on blood donations.
Archie’s Aunty, Irene Tarasenko, said the main reason for the fundraiser was that James and Sarah wanted everyone to donate blood.
“We’re just trying to keep the family together without the financial pressure added on.
“We have had an overwhelming response with a lot of local businesses jumping on board to provide donations towards our raffles.
“The family is thankful for all the local support that they have already received, including Central Coast Kids in Need and Ronald McDonald House in Randwick,” Irene said.