Luca Miraglia is one of the RCH’s youngest bed sponsors and for the Miraglia Family, it’s their way of saying thank you to the hospital for making that possible.
At ten years old, Luca has spent a lifetime in and out of the RCH. Luca and his identical twin brother birth was a traumatic one. Luca’s twin brother Alessio passed away just hours before birth and Luca was left battling for his life. For the following six weeks, the Miraglia’s kept a constant vigil at their newborn’s bedside in the RCH Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU) as Luca battled through oxygen deprivation, seizures, brain damage, a life threatening infection and kidney failure.
‘’Luca was incredibly sick and I can tell you that in the 10 years I’ve been working there, there have been very few babies I have looked after that have been as sick as Luca,” said Associate Professor Rod Hunt, Director of RCH Neonatal Medicine.
Slowly, Luca started showing signs of improvement and the family were eventually able to take their little fighter home. However, the Miraglia’s knew that their RCH journey had just begun. With just over 20 per cent kidney function, severe hearing loss and and a feeding tube inserted, Luca’s first years of life required frequent visits to the hospital. Throughout it all, Luca, their little tiger, showed his fighting spirit.
“To meet Luca today you would never think he has faced so many challenges and obstacles in his life, nor perhaps would you realise the challenges he will face for years to come,’’ said mum Lisa.
The following years would continue to throw challenges at Luca including an autism diagnosis. Yet the active, engaging little boy took it all in his stride. And now at age ten, Luca and his family are giving back to the hospital that has supported them through it all.
“We always said that we wanted to do something for NICU and the wonderful team who have supported us,’’ said Lisa.
In 2014, the Miraglia family established the Luca Miraglia Foundation to help Luca and children like him achieve their full potential. The non profit organisation is dedicated to supporting those with autism spectrum disorder, hearing impairments, kidney disease, and those who have experienced neonatal intensive care.
“Rod Hunt and those at the NICU went above and beyond to support us and Luca throughout our time there. If there’s ever a superman on Earth, it’s Rod Hunt!’’ said Lisa.