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Supporting Families of Critically Ill Children – Scarlett May Foundation

by | Wed, Jul 6 2022

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Aidan and Renee Lamberth have endured their fair share of pain. Nine years ago, as they were preparing to welcome their third child, the Lamberth family had no idea of the heartache that lay ahead.

Scarlett May Lamberth was born on 15th September 2013. Her big brother and sister were thrilled with her arrival, and she was a much-loved addition to the little family. For the first few precious months of Scarlett’s life, she was a happy healthy baby.

But it wasn’t long before her parents began to notice something was wrong. There were many rushed trips to the hospital, during which Scarlett suffered episodes of apnoea, heart failure, fluid on her lungs, and larynx spasms that resulted in intubation. She was often treated in the ICU.

Over many agonizing months, doctors tried to diagnose Scarlett. While Aidan and Renee spent every spare moment at the hospital with their little girl, they prayed for answers. But when Scarlett was 9.5 months old, the most devastating news would come.

Their baby had Gaucher’s Type 2, an incredibly rare genetic disease. Scarlett fought bravely for another four weeks before ascending to heaven. She was just 10.5 months old. After many long months at the hospital by her bedside, Aidan and Renee were forced to face their new reality.

In the face of all they had suffered, Aidan and Renee were determined that Scarlett’s short life would not be lived in vain. In 2014, they launched ‘The Scarlett May Foundation’, a not for profit that supports families with critically ill children.

The foundation provides meals for families during hospital stays, as well as counselling and keepsake mementos. They have grown from providing a few hundred meals to the Queensland Children’s Hospital, to supplying thousands of meals every month to hospitals from Brisbane to the Gold Coast.

Scarlett May cook ups are run by volunteers who continue to be inspired by Aidan and Renee’s commitment. The legacy that they have been able to create for their daughter through the Scarlett May Foundation has helped them find a small measure of meaning in their grief.

“There are still times when I struggle with what the foundation has been able to achieve”, says Renee. “Because I know it never would have happened if we hadn’t lost Scarlett.”

Aidan believes the foundation has helped keep his daughter’s memory alive. “I don’t want anyone to ever forget Scarlett”.

Since Scarlett’s passing, Aidan and Renee have had three more healthy children. The prospect of having another child was terrifying for both of them, but they put their trust in God and believed He would be there for them, no matter what.

“It was a leap of faith to have another baby”, Renee says. “But we decided that whatever the outcome, any child of ours would have as much love as we could give, for as long as we could give it.”

To read more of Renee and Aidan’s incredible story, and to help them continue the inspiring work they are doing through their foundation, click here