Brad and Katrina Jenkinson’s guiding force is their son, Hamish. By creating a legacy in his honour, they hope to save other RCH families from the grief they have endured.
Their first child, Hamish was born with a rare genetic condition causing multiple blockages in his bowel. Cared for from birth by accomplished surgeon and researcher, Associate Professor Sebastian King, Hamish underwent two significant surgeries to repair his bowels.
The first was to create a stoma, or opening at the end of his intestine, to allow faeces to bypass the blockages in bowel. Despite A/Professor King’s best efforts, Hamish’s bowel failed to function normally. A second surgery was scheduled weeks later.
“After the surgery, Sebastian came to us with the news that there was nothing else they could do….I can’t explain the emotion we went through the last night we stayed with Hamish. The following day, as the sun shone through our window, Katrina and I cuddled him so tightly as he drifted away to a world where he would be in no more pain, undergo no more surgery and be peaceful. We are left with a pain that never goes away and one we don’t wish upon anyone.”
In spite of their grief, Brad and Katrina participated in Run for the Kids two days later in Hamish’s honour.
“We had 50 fifty of our closest family and friends join our team, named ‘Hammer Time’ in Hamish’s honour. As hard as it was just a few days after he passed, we did it because Hamish would have wanted us to.”
Run for the Kids has become an annual event for the Jenkinson’s. Last year, 75 people joined team ‘Hammer Time’ including their baby girl, Eva, who was born just one day before Hamish’s first birthday, and two special additions: A/Professor King and his son.
“Sebastian is a beautiful and caring man who we now consider a close friend. We’ve maintained a strong relationship with the hospital and the incredible team of doctors, surgeons, nurses and pastoral care members. They made our experience as comfortable and caring as possible.”
Inspired by A/Professor King’s work, the Jenkinson’s have expanded their support of the RCH beyond Hammer Time, fundraising through their business, Holistic Athlete Development, and challenges like Brad’s Ironman training. They have raised over $13,000 so far.
“My wife and I share a dream that one day, because of medical advancements that are only possible through fundraising, families won’t have to suffer the loss of a child to the same condition we lost our beloved Hamish,” said Brad.