Francisco Navia

Help us give premature babies a better chance of survival

By supporting our team you'll be raising funds to buy life-saving equipment and fund groundbreaking research that give critically ill and premature babies a better chance of survival.

My Updates

Finally we bring him home!!

After 86 days we were finally ready to bring our boy home! Our “graduation” wasn’t without some false starts which really tested us. Lis had set a goal to have Tiger home by her birthday on 6th of December which was very close to his original due date. We were on track for this but some feeding issues and a dip in Tiger’s iron levels meant that we had to wait another week. This would be our last lot of sad tears because on 14th of December we wheeled Tiger out of hospital, into sunlight and our car with tears of joy, relief and happiness flowing. After 3 months of being hospital parents we finally had Tiger to ourselves! My protector instinct kicked in as I double, and triple checked his seat belts. I drove so cautiously for the first time in my life ? but with such pride to be bringing him home. A home that we had moved into just 10 days before he arrived!

Our journey to parenthood has been completely different than we expected or prepared for, but we feel like the luckiest two people in the world. We have been gifted with the most resilient, cheeky and loving little boy. This is more than our little family could’ve dreamt of. We are so determined for other families to receive the same gift and support that we had that is why we will be eternally grateful to Running for Premature Babies.  

Reality Hits

Our little family quickly became buried in a daily routine. Lis would start her day rushing to the hospital in the morning to make doctors rounds. Once at the hospital, she was desperately trying to keep her breast milk in with multiple trips to the dreaded expressing room and savouring the daily rituals like Tiger's "cares" (his twice a day nappy change & clean which parents are encouraged to do). We also cherished moments like daily skin to skin, giving him a suck on milk on a long cotton bud and me giving him his first bath. 

My days would be spent at work, then running to the bus stop as soon as I finished. I remember being sweaty and breathless on the bus. The bus ride felt like an eternity which gave me too much time to think and anticipate the day Tiger had. This would make me emotional most days thinking of how vulnerable and how quickly things can change for babies in NICU. I would arrive at the hospital to meet Lis for the second session of "cares" and to spend precious time with Tiger.

We would stay at the hospital until 7pm for nurse handover as we couldn't go home without knowing who was looking after our son for the night. I also couldn't leave if Tiger was awake. A habit which probably annoyed Lis who had been at the hospital all day. 

We would pick up dinner from my Mum & Dad every night on the way home and a lot of days our fridge was filled with vegetarian food by my sister (something we will be eternally grateful for). The last thing we did every night was to call the hospital to check on Tiger before bed. 

Tiger quickly developed a reputation amongst doctors and nurses for being feisty. This was evidenced  by his habit of pulling out tubes and yelling out to the nurses for his two hourly feeds half an hour early. This is a part of his personality which remains to this day and challenges us at times! but we are so very proud and grateful for his grit which probably saved his life. 

The moments of trauma that will stick with us forever are those when the reality of our situation really hit.... The reality of watching three lots of parents not taking their angels home, the reality of learning as time went on that you are never in the clear, the reality that it is common for many illnesses to occur after a few weeks (otherwise known as the honeymoon period), the reality of hearing Tiger's cries during the dreaded retinal test, the reality of comforting him while cannulars were put in and blood transfusions performed.

After 50 days Tiger was ready to be moved to a hospital closer to home. Our strong boy no longer needed oxygen support and at this point our focus was on feeding and weight gain. We split our efforts like Lis breastfeeding and me on bottle feeding. Lis and I have always been a strong team and we would rely on it now more than ever for the last leg of our journey home.

Week 28

Week 28 of our pregnancy started like normal but definitely didn't end that way with some innocent cramps during Lis's work day turning into a trip in an ambulance with the sirens on later that night. We later learnt that a placenta abruption caused Lis to go into premature labour. 
Everything happened very fast once we arrived at the Royal Woman's Hospital and Tiger was born through a natural delivery in under an hour. The birth was like time stood still yet my whole world was in overdrive. I only had one thought... "Please be ok". We watched him bravely take his first breaths without assistance. This would be the first of many times that Tiger would show us what a strong little man he is. 
Tiger then entered what we came to learn was the "golden hour". During this time he received critical care that we hoped with all of our being he would respond to. He did respond and 12 hours later was stable enough for a skin to skin cuddle. 
The first few days were a whirlwind of learning new medical terms and becoming familiar with the only things we would be able to control like providing Tiger with breast milk and loving him the only ways we could through talking to him and restricted touch. Every day was an internal battle, conflicted with what we were able to offer him, to what our parental instincts were telling us. 
Five days after Tiger arrived we were discharged from hospital and experienced the gut wrenching pain of leaving him behind. Something we would do another 80 odd times and it never got easier. We then embarked on a daily routine of Lis trying to maintain her milk supply even throughout the night and being at the hospital with Tiger all day. Meanwhile I was back at work although every fibre of being wanting to be next to him at the hospital. Without our families we would've struggled with normal household activities like cooking and cleaning. We pretty much only ate because of them. Our days were long and we would hang on the words of the doctors during all their rounds. The relentless pressure could have broken us but our bond as a couple only grew stronger. 


Tiger's Story

Our little champion, Tiger, was born at 28 weeks and 1230grams. Tiger spent 86 days in hospital under the brilliant care of the special care team at Royal Woman's Hospital.
The care that these precious bundles receive is nothing short of a miracle and relies very heavily on donations. We could never repay the gratitude that we feel but hopefully with your help can raise funds for other families to experience their own miracles 

Thank you to my Sponsors

$510

Anonymous

$208

Francisco Navia

$150

Beth Smeaton

Well done

$104

Rahul Anand

Great stuff for a noble cause.

$104

Victoria Bismire

$104

Rob Peseta

Well done. Much love to you all x RP

$104

Peter Hukins

$104

Alfonso Navia

Sorry for the delay

$104

Todd Upton

Great cause. Awesome effort, guys!

$104

Nathan Hartcher

A whole family of champions!

$104

Melinda Padroth

What an awesome cause, and great opportunity to give back - good on you x

$104

Kylie Wilkinson

Run hard Cisco xoxo

$104

Parry Gryllis

Good luck bro

$52

Robyn Pratten

My first born Adam was born at 33 weeks in 1981 but was 5lb, we were very lucky. The hospital, nurses & doctors were wonderful. Happy to help.

$52

Shaz Stafford

Great Stuff 💙to you all

$52

Kevin Sawers

Legend!

$52

Anonymous

Hi Lisa, Happy to donate to $50. Just send me the bank details. Tiger sure is growing and looking very healthy.

$52

Thomas Holman

$52

Terri Simonas

$52

Christine Matthews

Well done!!! Tiger is gorgeous xxx

$52

Patricio Navia

$52

Brooke Williams-philpott

My little one spent time in special care after her birth and so i saw the magic that happens there. Good luck Francisco.

$52

Britt Coombe

Well done guys!

$52

Billy

Tiger gets his strength from his strong parents. So happy for you guys x

$52

Sandra Myk

Well done. Great cause Francisco xx

$52

Brad Scutella

Go Tiger Go

$52

Monica Navia

❤️❤️❤️

$52

Anthony Scoudis

Much love from Athena, Eliah and I.

$52

Maddi Bailes

Thanks for the opportunity to support you!

$52

Nathan Lakajev

love your work Francisco, I might join you in November for the run if restrictions allow it!

$52

Bob Uncle

$52

Warren Coombes

$52

Amanda Gleeson

Miraculous work they do in NICU for little bubs xxx

$52

Bec Roe

Such a great cause! Well done!

$52

Jenny O’keeffe

$52

Yasmine Herrera

go team 🐯 💛

$52

Jorge Herrera

$52

Lynda Reeves

Honoured to be able to support this worthy cause.

$52

Sarah Harvey

$52

Michelle Betts & Marc D’amico

$50

Zac Goodman

$41.60

Bek Quinn

$41.60

Amber

$41.60

Keiran Woolcott

Love your work! Great cause ❤️

$41.60

Nathan Paull

Hope the legs are as strong as tiger and you will be fine! Amazing story.

$31.20

Emilie Sharp

A very worthy cause. Great job to all the nurses and doctors. And mummy and daddy!!! Xxxx

$30

Briana Burgess

$29.12

Pete Murray

Great cause, well done Bud!

$20.80

Elizabeth Taylor

Wonderful cause

$20.80

Lauren Mclean

$20.80

Michael And Christy Cullen

Well done Franco, lots of love to your little family!

$20.80

Alex Donovan

Well done mate!

$20.80

Britt James

Amazing. Well done guys!

$20.80

Karishma Maharaj

Great course Francisco. Lovely photos of the family :)

$20.80

Adrian Molachino

Great stuff Francisco!

$20.80

Nicole Mangan

What a little champion you are Tiger! Just like your mum! What a great cause you are supporting. Good luck with the fundraising & the run!

$20.80

Michelle Mowbray

Great work helping other's stories have a happy ending

$20.80

Mel Rye

Awesome stuff guys!! Xx

$20

Fiona Madden

Thank you for making your mummy and daddy smile Tiger

$20

Simone Wardell

My first born was born at 32 weeks 1192 pounds. It was touch and go for the first 6 weeks and then onto 2 year's with him suffering a hole in the heart and febral convulsion fits at 2 year's of age. His first fit was a bad one where we didn't know if he would pull through or not. But he managed to come through it. After that I felt like we could get through anything. Then the 2nd febral hit but now his 16 year's old and without knowing exactly what happened to him you wouldn't know anything was even wrong. He is starting to tower over me and growing up into a strong resilient young man.