Samara was born at 28 weeks, three months too early. She was born normally but contracted bacterial meningitis at 36 weeks which was traced back to an infection at the hospital.
The meningitis caused brain damage and cortical blindness. Samara’s frontal lobes, which are responsible for thinking, feeling and learning, are fine but the back of the brain where motor skills like crawling, walking, seeing are performed was eaten away by the meningitis.
Samara is classed as having severe cerebral palsy as she can’t see, walk or sit-up and is incontinent and still reliant on help for everything she does. She had swelling and staph on the brain and now has two shunts inserted to clear brain fluid. Samara has had one hip operation with a second operation due in the next two months.
Samara started at Werris Creek Public School with her sister Lily-Rose to find they already had a wheelchair elevator and the school has been overwhelmingly supportive of Samara. Samara’s carer Tracy Hadden has her the whole day at school and is exceptional with Samara.
The Cardow family sold their house in Newcastle so they could buy a house in werris creek to take the pressure off as she is in 24hr care and needs to be carried, in bed or in her wheelchair.
They have recently purchased an ex-wheelchair taxi to make transportation easier, but had to put it on their credit card and now are hoping to sell as much as possible at their shop Quirindi Emporium before it closes on April 10 to pay off the car.
Werris Creek Public School are holding two days this Wednesday and Thursday to raise money towards Samara’s care. Trina Collins has started an online auction page for Samara on Facebook to help raise money.
“Once we finish paying off the car, we then have to raise money to do a full bathroom conversion. I will be returning to work somehow after Samara’s operation to fund the bathroom conversion,” said Samara’s mother Mandy Cardow.
Ongoing expenses never end with a little one like Samara who, now seven, is getting harder to carry so the family have become very reliant on her wheelchair.
“Unfortunately New South Wales don’t have any government grants like Queensland and Victoria, but we couldn’t afford to buy a house outright in these states so we have to foot the bill or rely on charity which I find it difficult to ask for.”
“We had an overwhelming response to the raffle we held towards Samara’s vehicle, raising $650. We still have to pay off another $4500 on the credit card and a lot of people are wanting to donate towards Samara’s vehicle which they can do through our Quirindi Emporium account at the Commonwealth Bank.”
“We had a $500 money order sent from a lady in Newcastle which was extremely generous and we are very thankful for.
Unfortunately we will have to keep doing some form of fundraising and if I get back to work the proper vehicle we are meant to buy is between $50,000 and $70,000 plus we will need $10,000 for the bathroom conversion so we can finally bath her properly.”
All the support from the community is highly appreciated by the Cardow family. Help them to support Samara.