Erin and Timothy first heard about the Family Retreat in Forster during their 120-night stay at Ronald McDonald House in Newcastle back in 2016. Their son Kingsley was born 12 weeks premature at 24 weeks and had a lot of medical issues.
They were able to take their first family holiday together to the Forster Family Retreat when Kingsley was about eight months old and finally well enough to venture further away from hospital. It was the first time they were able to relax together and enjoy themselves.
“During our first stay, we met all of the wonderful volunteers and felt spoilt by the service and support given to our family by the Forster community. We enjoyed our time at the Family Retreat so much we started to plan our return visit”.
Originally from the Central Coast, their family moved to Newcastle to be closer to the John Hunter Hospital and the care that Kingsley needed. During his first 12 months, he needed to return to hospital for weekly visits and has had several surgeries.
After much anticipation, the family have recently returned to Forster for their second visit. Kingsley is now almost 3 and thriving. “Kingsley had such a ball at the Retreat. We saw dolphins, whales, and pelicans while playing in the park and even had a bath bomb in the giant spa in our bathroom, which he loved. During our first visit, Kingsley was still a baby and in the pram a lot. This visit he is running and scooting around. There are so many things to do, games to play and being within walking distance to everything has been so easy and enjoyable”.
These family holidays together have meant that Erin, Timothy and Kingsley can create special memories together and have that special holiday when they need it most.