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Jodie Hollis-Tobin - Westfield Local Heroes 2020

Supporting mums and dads

Preterm Infants' Parents' Association Inc (PIPA)
Caring. Committed. Friendly.

As the mother of five children who were born prematurely, Jodie Melissa Hollis-Tobin knows what to say to comfort other parents on the roller-coaster ride that can follow a preterm birth.

She was 19 when her first child was born at just 33 weeks. Another child was born on the edge of viability at 23 weeks, while her fourth child sadly did not make it.

Despite being busy raising her brood, Jodie feels compelled to volunteer to give peer support to other parents through the Preterm Infants' Parents' Association (PIPA).

"Listening and lending a shoulder for a parent to have a cry on is a very important part of this work," she says.

Jodie's children are thriving after their rocky start, and she works late into the night responding to requests for help after they have gone to bed.

Jodie's biggest challenge is sharing her story of watching her babies struggle to survive after birth and having to wait for weeks to hold them.

"It was a very tough and emotionally exhausting journey, but I do feel there is a reason why I faced and overcame such adversity," she says.

"If that reason is to help others, I am happy to take on that challenge."

Westfield Local Heroes are nominated and voted for by their communities, with the three top finalists per Westfield centre each awarded a $10,000 grant for their affiliated organisation. PIPA will use its grant to give direct assistance to families in need, such as breast pumps and transport to hospital.

For further information on the Westfield Local Heroes program, click here

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