Big mission helps small ones



RACHAEL McLachlan is a woman on a mission.

"Let's get Ipswich passionate about premmies," Ms McLachlan said.

The proprietor of McLachlan's Manor real estate agency has been raising funds to support premature babies and their families for the past two years.

"This is about supporting premmie babies in Ipswich, not at the Mater and not at other Brisbane Hospitals," Ms McLachlan said.

"Those big hospitals get involved in a lot of big fundraising initiatives like the auction of the Springfield house for the Mater.

"But not enough people get behind our own local Ipswich hospitals."

Ms McLachlan gave birth to premature twins in 2003.

"I know what it is like to have a sick premmie," she said.

"My twins Fletcher and Mila were born 11 and a half weeks early.

"There was a time where we didn't think they would survive, but they pulled through.

"It is an experience I want no other mother to go through."

Ms McLachlan said she was doing everything she could to help other mothers who give birth prematurely.

"I have spent the past two years thinking of new campaigns and new ways to get people behind the cause," she said.

"I've been trying to raise money for equipment at the Ipswich General and the Ipswich private (hospital) to offer better support to babies born before 32 weeks."

This year Ms McLachlan has raised money towards a baby transport incubator.

It will be shared between St Andrew's Ipswich Private Hospital and the Ipswich General Hospital.

"The incubator helps premmies get to Brisbane hospitals safely," she said. "It costs $18,000.

"So far we have raised more than $13,746.

"We'll get more by the time the campaign ends but I am hoping the Mayor will offer to make up the difference.

"It is worth it; this incubator will save lives."

St Andrew's Ipswich Private Hospital chief executive officer Chris Murphy said he was "very appreciative" of Ms McLachlan's efforts.

"Certainly we do have measures in place for mothers at risk of premature delivery, so we can avoid emergencies in the best possible way," Mr Murphy said.

"However, Rachael is helping us update our equipment and increase the amount we have.

"This stuff saves lives."



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