Star of Tungamah’s Good Friday Appeal

By Yarrawonga Chronicle

Like all first-time parents, Jasmine Ammar and Shaun O’Dwyer were excited with the impending arrival of their first child. 

They had no idea what a long and rocky road lay ahead of them.  

At their 20-week routine ultrasound, the technician found a problem with the baby’s heart. 

Further scans and an amniocentesis at the Mercy Women’s Hospital in Melbourne, showed that the baby had Pulmonary Atresia, Tricuspid Atresia and Hypo-plastic Right Heart Syndrome. 

The right side of the heart had never developed.  

Jasmine’s pregnancy was otherwise healthy and she continued with regular check-ups and scans at the Mercy Women’s Hospital. 

A month before her due date, Jasmine was required to stay in Melbourne close to the hospital, in case she went into early labour.

Beautiful Tyler John O’Dwyer, was born on July, 24 2018 at The Mercy Hospital for Women before he was swiftly transferred to the Royal Children’s Hospital at just three hours old.  

Baby Tyler underwent his first procedure at just two days old, with a balloon atrial septostomy and at seven days old he had his first heart operation.  

The procedures and surgeries continued for this little fighter, with three open heart surgeries, one surgery on his diaphragm and the insertion of two heart catheters.  

Tyler also suffered two cardiac arrests during his time at the Royal Children’s Hospital and spent the first 175 days of his life in hospital, with either his devoted mum or dad always by his side.  

Initially Jasmine and Shaun were in a New Mother’s Unit, before living at Ronald McDonald House for a stint. 

After leaving there they resided at accommodation supplied by ‘Heart Kids’. 

Tyler spent 125 days in ICU and when he wasn’t on life support Shaun and Jasmine took turns to sleep on a fold out chair by their baby’s bedside. 

Once on the cardiac ward, where Tyler stayed for 50 days, they were given a very homely room with a bed so Tyler could then each night, have his mum or dad asleep by his side. 

After 175 days in hospital Tyler finally went home with his loving family. 

He was 175 days old, almost 6 months.

Jasmine said that the care Tyler received at the Royal Children’s Hospital was outstanding. 

“The surgeons, doctors, nurses and specialists saved Tyler’s life and always made our family feel welcome and supported,” Jasmine said.

“They went out of their way to make our time in hospital with Tyler special. The staff became our second family.”

Tyler may be out of hospital, but requires ongoing appointments in Melbourne and locally, including cardiology, physiotherapy, speech pathology and palliative care.  

Due to Tyler having his nutrition intravenously for his first few months, he now has swallowing difficulties and is tube fed. Tyler is still at a high risk of going into cardiac arrest so Jasmine and Shaun keep a close eye on his health and watch for any warning signs.

Gorgeous little Tyler is an absolute delight to his parents, family and friends.  

Jasmine and Shaun are very grateful for their amazing extended family, friends and small community of Tungamah, which have rallied behind Tyler, to help him fight for his life.

Tyler will be the star of the Good Friday Appeal in Tungamah, where he will lead the CFA as they do the collection run on Good Friday morning.  

All going well, he will hopefully make an appearance at the Tungamah Social Club fundraiser for the Royal Children’s Hospital, which kicks off at 10am in the Beer Garden of the Tungamah Hotel on Good Friday, April 19. 

The day includes; a car rally, yabby races, raffles, auction, craft, fresh produce, ‘Kid’s Corner’ which includes lucky dips, show bags, a jumping castle, Easter egg hunt and more.  

Meals are available at the hotel all day.  

With a Rock and Roll theme this year, come dressed up, there are prizes for best dressed. 

There will also be a demonstration of Rock ‘n’ Roll dancing.  

It’s a great fun filled family day out at Tungamah. 

Everyone is welcome so come along and join in the fun and help to raise money for a very worthy cause. 

All money raised goes to the Royal Children’s Hospital to help children like adorable little Tyler O’Dwyer. 

‘Give that they may Grow!’