Tidan Woods, 12, and sister Lilliana, 3, who was born premature at 24 weeks. Picture: Brad Fleet
Brother’s Sacrifice for Little Sister
Lilliana Smith was born at 24 weeks gestation, weighed only 552 grams and was gravely ill, meaning her brother and parents needed to move from Caloundra to Brisbane for her care. It was the “most traumatic experience” of the Smith family’s lives but in their time of need, they were welcome in by the Ronald McDonald House and it changed everything. “I don’t know where we would’ve been, we wouldn’t be able to be with our daughter if it wasn’t for that charity, I don’t even want to think about (what it could have been like),” mum Jacinta Smith said. Lili’s older brother Tidan, 12, is running The Sunday Mail Transurban Bridge to Brisbane, which is fundraising for the charity, after he gave up everything to stay close to his sister, without complaint. “He had to leave school, give up his rugby league, which he absolutely loves, and it was a whole new life for him,” Ms Smith said.
Tidan moved from a school of 2000 kids to a class of four at the Queensland Children’s Hospital, but the bond the experience created with his sister is unbreakable. “They’re basically inseparable … after 152 days, the doctors and nursing staff decided Tidan could hold her and it basically just never stopped,” Ms Smith said. “She would sleep on him at the hospital for hours and just lay on his chest and now, because there is a 10- year age gap, there is no fighting, no nothing. “He is almost like another parent in the house and he knows everything about her.” Tidan has recently been accepted into a rugby league school of excellence in Redcliffe, which means Lilliana, now 3, watches him like he did for her.
If you would also like to join Tidan and help make a difference to the lives of thousands of families who use services provided by RMHC SEQ each year, click here to register for The Sunday Mail Transurban Bridge to Brisbane which takes place on Sunday 29 August and to help fundraise through your communities.
This article was originally published in The Sunday Mail, on Sunday 11th July.