Please help Mila

$109,956 donated
Given by 1168 generous donors in over a year

Please help us raise funds for our miracle baby Mila to have life changing surgery and a better quality of life


Please help Mila

We see how inquisitive and curious Mila is about life and it breaks our hearts knowing that Mila could one day be a prisoner in her own body, as she has spastic quadriplegia cerebral palsy.

We may not have the money but we will do everything in our power to help our daughter have a better life.

This life changing surgery (selective dorsal rhizotomy) will ensure Mila has a better quality of life and enable her to explore it's many wonders more freely, please help us make this dream a reality for Mila.

Last year we were pregnant with twins, scans showed that one of our babies was a lot smaller than the other and we were referred to 3 different hospitals.

We were told that one or both of our babies could die and we needed to go in for scans every week so that doctors could monitor us.

At 21 weeks, the flow in the smaller baby’s umbilical cord started to reverse and we were flown to Auckland hospital to consider terminating the smaller baby to save the bigger baby.

When we got to Auckland the scan showed that the flow in the umbilical cord was now moving forward and the baby had grown, they gave us the option to terminate our smaller daughter to be on the safe side but we very much wanted to keep her. We had already named both of them and had grown so attached to them from the weekly scans.

At 28 weeks doctors told us we were on the home stretch and the percentage of our child passing away was just over 10% so we embraced pregnancy for the first time in months, putting together a beautiful room for the girls, daydreaming about their 21st birthdays and what they may look like.

I posted pregnant photos on Facebook for the first time and was counting down the days until our C-section which was booked at 32 weeks gestation.

At 29 weeks we were booked for a scan, we had, had so many scans that we could understand all the data on the screens and recognise the body parts; we could see the sonographer looking for the smaller baby’s heart, right where it was meant to be there was no movement. We knew instantly she was gone…

I continued to carry both babies because doctors had told us our bigger baby will most definitely survive and she would be given the best chance at life if she was allowed to grow further in the womb. It was a difficult few weeks.

At 32 weeks I went into premature labour and both of our daughters were born. Mila had a 3 and a half week stay in the neonatal intensive care unit.

When we got Mila home, it was a hard couple of months of grieving but we got through it and when Mila was 5 months old we finally started to feel a bit normal again with less bad days than before.

Then bad news knocked us again. Therapists noticed Mila wasn't meeting her milestones and sent us to see a paediatrician who told us Mila has spastic quadriplegia cerebral palsy.

She is now 8 months old and cannot suck her thumb or sit unaided and there is a high chance she will be in a wheelchair and dependent on someone for the rest of her life.

We researched online without sleep for many nights trying to find a way for our daughter to have a better life and found a light at the end of the tunnel, a surgery call selective dorsal rhizotomy that has been proven to help children with cerebral palsy regain independence and walk unaided.

This surgery would be such a blessing and help our daughter live a more normal life.

2yrs old is the optimum age to have the surgery before her body starts to deform due to spasticity and then she may also require orthopaedic surgery.

It is our dream to have the surgery around her 2nd birthday.

This surgery has to be accepted by Saint Louis hospital, USA, when Mila is around 2yrs old, she will most certainly be accepted, if in the small chance her admission is declined we will work for 2 years in New Zealand to get Mila in the right condition for surgery if all else fails 100% of funds raised will be used to make Mila's life as comfortable as possible.

Every donation big or small would mean so much to our family and we are very grateful to GiveaLittle for giving us this opportunity otherwise it would have never been possible.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read our story xx

Melanie Gardner's involvement (page creator)

We are Mila's parents, we see how inquisitive and curious she is about life and it breaks our hearts knowing that Mila could one day be a prisoner in her own body.

We may not have the money but we will do everything in our power to help our daughter have a better life.

Other page links

Read more

Latest update

Strengthening before surgery   17 August 2015

Mila is currently 14 months old and needs to be 2 yrs old for surgery and she needs to be strong enough; so on top of her physio classes 3 times a week we took Mila to Nelson for hyperbaric oxygen treatment.

She had 40 treatments over 4 weeks and showed significant improvements, including sleeping through the night when she used to wake at least 4-5 times for comfort, she is generally more comfortable and relaxed now and we have seen improvements in her mobility as well as her eye vision. Below is one of our progress videos, please follow our facebook page to see all of our updates

Share this update

Read 1 more update

Read more

Latest donations

Guest Donor
Guest Donor on 22 Jun 2016
A Taiapa & whanau X
A Taiapa & whanau X on 22 Jun 2016
Guest Donor
Guest Donor on 18 Jun 2016
Hope all goes to plan xx
Guest Donor
Guest Donor on 17 Jun 2016
Guest Donor
Guest Donor on 17 Jun 2016

Who's involved?

Melanie Gardner's avatar
Created by, and paying to a verified bank account of, Melanie Gardner
Page Moderated
The page has been checked by our team to make sure it complies with our terms and conditions.

Fundraisers supporting us


Want to get in touch with Melanie Gardner?

8 questions have been asked already. Check them out and ask yours here.

Want to display a QR code that links to this page?

Grab a QR Code

Any concerns?

Report this page
This page was created on 13 Feb 2015 and closed on 23 Jun 2016.