Two six-year-old boys at Our Lady of the Way school in Emu Plains have formed an unbreakable friendship, being named the ‘little warriors’ of the school.
Max Selby and Edward Lennon require regular rehabilitation and ongoing care as patients at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead.
This month, their families are throwing their support behind the Bandaged Bear Appeal as they applaud the crucial work and support of the hospital.
Edward’s mum, Patricia Smythe, said the brain tumor that was removed when Edward was just two-years-old has created ongoing obstacles.
“Everyone was under the impression that because it was benign and fully removed he would be fine, but that’s not the case,” she said.
“He has no feeling on the left side of his body… It will be something he has to manage for his whole life.”
She said there is a ripple effect of complications as children grow older, and praises the hospital for their dedication and commitment.
“They have been so good trying to come up with ideas as we bump into new hurdles. There wasn’t one person who didn’t treat us just so kindly,” Ms Smythe said.
Max’s mum, Rochelle Mason, recalls when circumstances dramatically changed for their family last year.
“Max has chronic renal disease… he got very sick at four-months-old and that was our first visit to The Children’s Hospital,” she said.
“Our situation escalated in May last year, and Max had a complication in surgery.
“We had to amputate one of his legs, and he was in ICU for 40 days.”
The hospital created a custom Iron Man themed prosthetic leg for Max to help encourage his independence.
Edward and Max met in Kindergarten and formed a close friendship while supporting each other at school.
“They started talking about their war wounds, and it’s like a scar of achievement,” Ms Mason said.
“It’s just beautiful and we call them two warriors.
“Even though they might not talk about it, they know they have each other.”
This year, the Bandaged Bear Appeal is aiming to raise $750,000 to continue their high quality support.
For more information or to make a donation head to www.bandagedbear.org.au.
Emily Newton is the Weekender’s police and political reporter. Emily is also the Weekender’s Senior Journalist.