*Kellie and her husband Ryan have three beautiful daughters, Maddie (5), Ruby (two) and Chloe (6 months). They live in a small country town 200km from Melbourne. Until the girls were born, Kellie taught Grade 3 and 4 students at the local primary school. Ryan has built up his own business as a carpenter and he and his staff construct new homes in the area. Kellie and Ryan love living in their community. They have very supportive families nearby and a fantastic social network through work, sporting clubs and Kellie’s mother’s group.
Everything was going to plan for Kellie and Ryan, until earlier this year when Chloe was diagnosed with a specialist medical condition requiring treatment at the Royal Children’s Hospital. After several trips back and forth for specialist tests, Chloe is now undergoing regular treatments at the RCH. “Initially it was such a shock and we didn’t know where to begin” shared Kellie. “We were so focused on Chloe’s health but in the back of my mind I knew I needed to sort out the logistical bits like finding somewhere to stay”. When Kellie saw the MediStays link on the RCH social work website she was so relieved. “It was such peace of mind knowing that I could find accommodation close to the hospital to be with Chloe when she needed me. Chloe can also stay with me in her port-a-cot some nights”.
“It was also great to access discounted accommodation with MediStays” said Kellie, who continued “I filled out a discount code form on the MediStays website and booked directly on the hotel website with my promo code. This has been a significant cost saver for us”. “MediStays also emailed us helpful information about accessing VPTAS, which makes a huge difference when I added up all the costs of accommodation and travelling” added Ryan.
Juggling act of caring for a family
Kellie and Ryan initially attended every specialist Doctor’s appointment together. They wanted to support each other and both be part of Chloe’s care. However, there came a point where it just wasn’t practical to continue the same way. “Maddie has just started prep and we are trying to keep her routine as normal as possible so that she can attend school and keep a bit of normality in her life” said Kellie. Ryan continued “Our parents are a huge help and care for Ruby while I’m at work, but she is used to spending her time with Kellie and gets pretty upset when she’s away”. “It’s such a juggling act and pretty emotionally exhausting for all of us” adds Ryan.
Financial considerations for a young family
Travelling for medical care is also a burden financially. Kellie and Ryan are reliant on Ryan’s salary and, being self-employed, it is also important for him to keep working as much as possible. As a result, they have agreed that Kellie will mostly stay on her own in Melbourne. “I’m pretty familiar with travelling around Melbourne and I also found some really useful advice on MediStays” said Kellie. “I usually catch the country train to Melbourne so that Chloe can sit on my lap and we take the tram from Southern Cross to our accommodation. It also means that my Mum can use our car with the car-seats for Maddie and Ruby at home.”
It’s good to be home
Although it has been a hectic year for this young family, Chloe is doing well and loves being back at home with her loving sisters. “We’re so grateful for all the help from our family and friends” said Ryan. “Chloe has received the best medical care at The Children’s and we were so lucky to find MediStays when we needed accommodation close by”.
At MediStays, we are passionate about supporting families like Kellie and Ryan (names changed) to find accommodation when they need it most.
If you need accommodation near a hospital, visit www.medistays.com.au and book your stay with discounted rates and flexible conditions.
Access a promo code on the MediStays website and book directly with our accommodation partners.
MediStays, supporting Australian families access the best medical care available.
*Names and images changed for privacy reasons
Image courtesy Alexander Dummer Unsplash