Treasured tot Myles Bavister will be remembered
THE heartbreaking loss of their four-month-old baby will never be forgotten by Cairns couple Alex and Ash Bavister.
But they have found a way to honour Myles Bavister's short life and help other families with children hospitalised far from home.
With the help of family, friends, colleagues and the Cairns business community, they have raised thousands of dollars to name a room at Ronald McDonald House in Townsville after their son.
The Bavisters were staying there when Myles died while in Townsville Hospital.
"What was amazing was the support we got from Ronald McDonald House at that time," Mrs Bavister said. "They didn't just accommodate my husband and I. They accommodated everyone that needed to be there to support us.
"Being given a safe, comfortable environment close to the hospital so we could be by Myles' side pretty much the whole time was wonderful.
"At the end of the day, we could have slept on the hospital floor, but we didn't have to.
"We had amazing rooms, with kitchen and laundry facilities and when our son joined us from Cairns, there was a playground, playroom and things we could do to distract him from the situation.
"It wasn't until we had to use Ronald McDonald House that we really understood the work they did," Mrs Bavister said.
The support continued after Myles died and the family was back home.
"When we returned to Cairns, a few weeks after Myles' funeral they offered us the opportunity to stay at Ronald McDonald Family Retreat in Palm Cove.
"You don't forget what's happened, but it was a week to reflect and reconnect as a family," Mrs Bavister said.
When the Bavisters learned they could sponsor a room at Ronald McDonald House in their son's name for $5000 a year, they decided to raise two years sponsorship and set up a crowd-funding campaign. Others jumped on board.
Mr Bavister works for Norweld, which will generously make a monthly donation for the next six months.
Goodstart Early Learning Kanimbla held a monster Christmas raffle with 56 prizes donated by local businesses.
Director Cherena Terrell said the centre had hoped to raise $500, but "raised a staggering $4565 and will continue to support the cause in future".
"Community support was outstanding," Ms Terrell said.
Mrs Bavister said money raised may cover seven years.
"To know there will be a room with Myles' name next to it is a real honour," she said.