My name is Kelly Foran I'm a local Narrabri, Boggabri, Maules Creek Girl.
My story starts:
Seven years ago while pregnant I experienced terrible headaches, nosebleeds and hearing congestion. I was assured it was all just pregnancyrelated. So I tried to ignore all my ailments and get fit and strong to welcome our 1st baby into the world and become a yummy mummy. On Boxing Day 2002 I became a little sicker with excessive headaches and vomiting I was taken to Dubbo Hospital and 3 days later after a scan diagnosed with a massive brain tumour I was then sent to Royal Prince Alfred hospital in Sydney with an hour’s notice. To have an emergency caesarean and then the tumour removed.
Upon arrival I was advised that I would have to undergo steroid treatment to shrink the tumour before I could have the tumour removed. 2 weeks later I had a caesarean and gave birth to a 12.5 pound baby boy who was 36 weeks gestation. (Imagine if he was 40 weeks he would have been a professional bull rider.) Jake was born with a hole in the lung. Hyper insulin anaemia, Jaundice and could not drink or suck unaided. He was the only baby in Australia to be born with hyper insulin anaemia and had to have medication flown from the United States to treat the condition. 3 weeks in high dependency ICU we were finally allowed to take our son home.
I was given massive doses of steroids to shrink the tumour. The tumour didn't shrink and neither did I. I went from weighing 67kg after Jakes birth to 89kg in 2 weeks (I am the queen of stretch marks mine are like motor racing tracks).
2 months later we returned for my surgery upon arrival I underwent a pre op clinic. There I was advised my blood sugar levels were at critically high levels and my surgery could not go ahead until they were under control. So off we went to the Diabetes centre to be taught how to give myself 4 injections a day.
I was a little stressed at this time the operation I could handle but needles I was truly scared of. The next morning I did not think of the impending surgery just the fact I had to give myself yet another needle. At 6.00am that morning my sugar levels back to normal. I underwent 16 hours of surgery. I awoke from the surgery with a slight stroke on my right hand side and unimaginable pain not from my head but my breast as I was still trying to breast feed Jake. I was being looked after by a female nurse who felt assisting me with a breast pump was not her position and referred to me as a cow ready to be hooked up to a milking machine in a dairy. I can laugh about it now…….
3 weeks in intensive care and a week in the neurology ward I finally went home. I was an insulin diabetic had a stroke and struggled to talk walk eat or do anything unaided. I think Dave was relieved that I struggled to talk………..
A week later after reducing the levels of steroids I was taking as advised I was again flown to Royal Prince Alfred with meningitis on the brain. 3 weeks later after another 6 hour operation and even less hair I came home. This trip Dave could not handle Jake our 3 month old so he was left at home. This I found very hard……… I now had muscular dystrophy and struggled with pain in every joint. I had to learn how to walk again but with such pain it was very hard and exhausting Jake was now 4 months old and I could not do anything with him.
After 12 months we were just getting on top of life. When I noticed Jakes eye was different. I called a local optometrist and drove to town. At the consultation I was told it was a tumour and an appointment in Brisbane was booked in 2 days time.
At the appointment we were advised the tumour was cancer and it needed to be removed now…..
Before it travelled to the other eye and Jakes brain. 2 days later Jake had his right eye removed. The tumour was contained in the right eye .We now had to look forward to 3 month hospital visits and day surgery’s as well as the challenge of what if its back….. We also had to deal mentally with our beautiful baby having only 1 eye and our guilt for allowing this to happen....
We progressed through 3 month, 6 month and now we attend 12 month visits. The journey is tough enough but the underlying stresses of finances, jobs you have to leave for periods of time.
4 weeks later we returned home David was starting to struggle with depression. On the trip home I mentioned to David I was not feeling the best. He suggested it may be because I had not been taking my insulin…….
After visiting my Doctor she asked if I may be pregnant. I said no way as the steroid treatment had left me sterile.
BINGO Miracles happen.
“Our lives are not determined by what happens to us but by how we react to what happens, not by what life brings to us, but by the attitude we bring to life.”
Because of my experiences and my family and friends. I have developed this website called
Friendly Faces Helping Hands
The site links rural and remote people and communities and provides a central portal for accessing information on accommodation, parking, cheap eats, supermarkets and even hairdressers that are located around each metropolitan hospital Links are also available for support networks, social workers and counsellors.
This site has been designed from the heart. My Husband Dave went for a haircut on our first trip to RPA he walked down to Newtown in his Wrangler jeans, Boots and Big Hat. He walked into a hairdresser not a flash one that’s not Dave’s style and asked for a cut. He has very short hair if you get me. He got a quick cut 5 minutes worth and stood to pay. The hairdresser advised him that would be $75 dollars. Dave only had $50 upon his exasperated comments a rather large sumo looking gent arrived from out the back to ask if there was a problem. Luckily my older sister Kim was walking past and Dave quickly got extra money from Kim and left.
Many occasions we struggled to get food, supermarket goods, nappies, milk and parking.
We had been going to Brisbane for 2 years and paying $17 a day for parking when we found a cheaper parking spot around the corner for $4.
This website will help to minimize the overwhelming feelings of isolation and give people the power of information in these difficult times.
Friendly Faces Helping Hands website
In Closing I would like to quote my FFHH quote.
“Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass it’s about learning how to dance in the rain.”