Harrison’s Little Wings was founded by myself, Melanie McKenzie in 2010 following the birth of my son Harrison. Harrison lived for only 28 hours due to an incurable condition called ‘Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia’.Harrison was diagnosed with this condition at the 20 week Fetal morphology scan. Following this diagnosis my family faced 20 weeks of emotional turmoil of not knowing what would happen to our son.
Since giving birth to my son I am very passionate about quality midwifery care for women and their families during their high risk pregnancy and after birth. Many families have to make life altering decisions that impact their families and their life. We want to assist Medical staff to provide quality care that supports families in making decisions that are right for them.
I have the privileged to sit on several Queensland state boards and consult on Maternity projects.I am extremely passionate about my roles on Maternity boards as I strive to help pave the way for better care for women and their families.
I have spoken at various conferences about High Risk Pregnancy and Bereavement. Within my presentation I speak from a consumers perspective and my experience, the good and the bad.
Through Harrison’s Little Wings I undertake speaking engagements and participates in educational programs. I hope to create awareness among medical professionals and students about the hardship faced by families who have been diagnosed with congenital abnormality and educate them in dealing with perinatal death.
If you would like to contact Melanie to arrange her to speak at a conference or at your hospital please email her at email@example.com
Karen is an experienced and compassionate qualified and registered Counsellor (M.A.C.A. Level 2, CGAL Level 2), who has an interest and passion around bereavement, grief, loss and change which started at the age of 12.
Karen is respected by her peers and supervisors and has moved with her family from Christchurch, New Zealand to Australia 6 years ago.
Karen has worked in a number of community based services all with a focus on the maternity arena and the parental journey.
Within her own life experiences Karen has experienced pregnancy losses, infertility and high risk multiple pregnancy and she has been blessed with 3 earthly children – 1 singleton and girl/boy twins
Living on the Gold Coast North , Karen has continued to provide within her private practice of over 10 years, various options for parents to connect and gain support in times of loss grief and change.
“At times it is comforting to know that you have options to choose from, that can help empower and connect you with your resilience, in times of uncertainty in becoming parents. You are not alone in this different journey.” Karen J.
I look forward to walking a journey shared with u all. I am but a fellow traveler.
Zena is a full time case officer, wife and mother to 4 furry animals, one beautiful angel called Chloe and her rainbow baby who is earth side Anakin.
Chloe was a very wanted pregnancy but In December 2015 at her 20 week fetal morphology scan she was told that her daughter was incompatible with life as she had Spina Bifida and severe fluid on her brain (amongst other things) which meant her life expectancy was slim. It was with this information that her and her husband had to make a decision to continue with the pregnancy or not and at 21 weeks she had a medical termination “We decided to take the pain now so Chloe does not have to”.
This journey has been hard but she says that she has met some strong women and made friendships with people from across the world and in all different situations. She’s on a mission to not let Chloe’s memory disappear and is helping as much as she can. She says “if we can raise awareness we will then create more supportive environments as well as friends and family and hopefully one day we won’t need to suffer in silence and feel so alone”.
My name is Liz. I am a mum to 6 beautiful babies. Oliver (7), Hannah(3), Ashton (5 months) and my angel babies Liam (5) and identical twins Allanah and Liz (4). My husband and I run our own tiling business and I am in my 2ndyear of my bachelor of midwifery. I have been volunteering for Harrisons little wings since 2012.
My pregnancy loss journey began in 2011. We wanted to give Oliver a sibling and found out we were pregnant. I have a robertsonian translocation so my chances of having a down syndrome baby were 1 in 4. We went for our 12 week scan and nuchal test and were told that our baby looked like it may have down syndrome and heart problems. A CVS confirmed this and we were told out baby wouldn’t make it to 20 weeks gestation. We lost out little boy Liam at 13 weeks and 1 day.
In 2012 we found out we were pregnant again. I was very anxious we would receive the same diagnosis as last time. At 8 weeks we found out we were having identical twins. (separate sacs but sharing a placenta). We were so excited but very scared and anxious. At our 12 week scan we were told it looked like our girls were starting to develop twin to twin transfusion syndrome. (one twin was receiving to much blood and the other not enough). The size discrepancy was significant and Allanah had too much fluid and Liz had not enough. We were advised we were a very high risk pregnancy and that Lazer surgery was not possible until 19 weeks. It was a watch and wait and hope that our little girls would make it. Every week (sometimes twice a week) we had scans and appointments. For a few weeks they remained stable not to much change but Liz was half the size of Allanah. By 16 weeks Liz had barley any fluid. We were told to prepare for the worst. We had doctors tell us they would probably be dead by next week. We made to 19 weeks when I had lazer surgery on my placenta ( a prodecure where they go into your uterus and lazer off all off the blood vessels that the girls were sharing). All went well and after drugs to stop contractions we spent a few days in hospital and I was sent home to rest. Scans showed that Liz’s fluid levels were starting to improve slightly aswell. 24 hours after we were home I started experiencing severe pain. I went in to be assessed and was put on bedrest and told my cervix was closed. By 5pm I couldn’t even stand I was 5cm dilated and there was nothing they could do to stop it. At 10:30 that night at 20 weeks gestation I delivered my beautiful girls. Liz was stillborn and Allanah died in our arms after 1 hour and 14 minutes.
I never thought I would be ready to have another baby again however in 2012 we found out I was pregnant again. It was a very hard pregnancy daily panic attacks and a lot of appointments. At 30 weeks gestation my membranes ruptured and I spent 4 weeks in hospital before delivering our rainbow Hannah at 34 weeks. She wasn’t able to breathe on her own and spent weeks in intensive care before we were able to bring her home weighing a tiny 1.9 kilos. My last pregnancy with Ashton was also very difficult. He was born 5 weeks premature and spent 1 week in intensive care aswell.
I have a passion for helping women who experience a high risk pregnancy and loss
Rodney McKenzie is the proud father of Harrison, and is an intricate member of our committee, giving a fathers perspective on High Risk Pregnancy. He understands the stress a family endures while experiencing a extreme high risk pregnancy.
Rodney is a very successful Project manager for a construction company and with his skill set he brings a business perspective to Harrison’s Little Wings..