When time is limited, every moment matters.

Every year, hundreds of South Australian parents are given the devastating news that they have limited time left with their children. Bobby and Kiera Lovett have been given this news not once, but twice.

In 2018, after multiple tests, scans, and specialist appointments their youngest son, Declan, who was three at the time was diagnosed with leukodystrophy, an incurable neurological disorder that affects the central nervous system.

Just months after Declan’s heartbreaking diagnosis, genetic testing revealed Connor has the same leukodystrophy as his younger brother, while younger sister Evie-Lee was cleared. Both boys are now under the care of the Women’s and Children’s Hospital Palliative Care Service.

“Someone asked me recently how I stay so strong, but the truth is I don’t have strength. I cry everyday. Connor and Declan deserve so much in life; they don’t deserve to go through this”, says Kiera.

Please take a moment to watch the Lovett’s story.

A message from Connor and Declan’s mum, Kiera.

Following the devasting diagnosis our sons, Declan and Connor, have leukodystrophy, a life limiting illness, Bobby and I made the decision to move our family of five from Port Lincoln to Adelaide to be closer to the Women’s and Children’s Hospital. Port Lincoln will always be home for us, but we needed to do what was best for our boys.

Two young brothers with their younger sister sitting on a couch smiling at the camera. Image L-R: Connor (7), Declan (5) and sister, Evie-Lee (3).

The boys are cared for by the Palliative Care Service at the Women’s and Children’s Hospital. Without the support and love from the Hospital and the doctors and nurses being right beside us saying ‘we’re here to help’, I don’t think we would cope. The doctors and nurses aren’t just specialists to us, they’re like our family now.

Connor and Declan deserve so much in life, they don’t deserve to go through this. Connor doesn’t say much but he is aware of the health battles he and his brother face, especially now that Declan needs to use a wheelchair.

Young patient Declan in a wheelchair with brother, Connor. Image L-R: Bobby, Kiera, Connor and Declan. 

For me, the most important thing in my life is our kids and us as a family. It breaks my heart thinking about life without our beautiful boys. I think for us as parents, just hearing the kids laugh and knowing they’re happy is a big highlight for our day. If we’re able to make memories and we’re hearing their giggles, that’s all that matters to us. As a family, when time is limited, we really do have to live for every moment.

Supporting families every step of their journey.

The Women’s & Children’s Hospital Foundation supports families like the Lovetts every step of their Hospital journey.

Young patient Connor smiling with parents at the Beach House.
Young patient Declan in a wheelchair receiving treatment from his Nurse.

Play and art therapy sessions

Across all corners of the Women’s and Children’s Hospital, the WCH Foundation proudly funds creative therapy programs. Whether a child is in hospital for day surgery, an appointment in the outpatient department, or if hospital becomes home, play therapy is a critical program that reduces the stress and anxiety they may feel. By engaging in art therapy processes, patients and siblings can explore, understand, and unpack their feelings. Art provides an outlet for the children to explore their emotions and help communicate thoughts and feelings, which are sometimes difficult to talk about.

Young patient Declan in am embrace with his mum on a couch at the WCH Foundation Beach House.
Young patient Declan in his wheelchair smiling at the camera being led by younger brother, Connor.

Young patient Declan laughing in a park being pushed in his wheelchair by younger brother, Connor.
When time is limited, every moment matters.