Hospital’s special baby bond with one Terang family

Generations of care: Liz Coolahan with baby Ari, Susan Coolahan, Marie Milroy and Joanne Kenna with daughter Lexi, two. Picture: Rob Gunstone

Generations of care: Liz Coolahan with baby Ari, Susan Coolahan, Marie Milroy and Joanne Kenna with daughter Lexi, two. Picture: Rob Gunstone

When 91-year-old Marie Milroy was born in Terang with her identical twin sister, the doctor warned her mother the babies might not live long.

In fact, Mrs Milroy and her twin sister are both still well, and in the meantime three generations of her family have been born at Terang Hospital, which was built after Mrs Milroy’s birth.

In light of a looming change that would see the hospital’s maternity services reduced or scrapped, the family gathered to speak about their special decades-long relationship with the facility.

Mrs Milroy’s granddaughter Joanne Kenna said the level of care she received when giving birth to her children was high.

“With both my kids I was here for seven days, with the option to come back if I wasn’t coping, which was nice to know,” Mrs Kenna said.

“If we lost it I would be very disappointed.”

Liz Coolahan, also part of the family, gave birth to her son Ari at Warrnambool Hospital after he arrived five weeks early. But as soon as she could, he was transferred back to Terang.

She said when she went into labour she sought advice from staff at Terang Hospital, who directed her to Warrnambool because of the risks associated with an early delivery.

Mrs Coolahan said because Warrnambool was a bigger hospital, she was discharged after two days.

“Because Ari was five weeks early, he had to stay in the special care nursery in Warrnambool,” she said.

“That was why I wanted to move back to Terang, because I wanted my own space with my new baby.

“He was the only baby there at the time as well so I had all the attention of the midwives and a lot of help.

“Every time he was due for a feed someone would always come by and check that we were okay, and through the night, especially, they were really good.”

Mrs Milroy said it was special to her that so many members of the family had been born in the one spot.

“You need family around you,” she said.

Community stands up to save Terang's maternity service

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