David's Story

Davids StoryFather’s Day is a wonderful opportunity for us to celebrate the many ways that fathers contribute to their children’s early development.  We know it’s not always easy. Many dads find it hard to balance their work and family commitments, while others need wise advice and a helping hand to care for and nurture the young ones in their lives.

That’s where we come in, because supporting mums and dads is what we do.

Of course all fathers are different, and some need more help from us than others. Christchurch-based David Turnbull is one of those dads – and we were delighted to give him a very special early Father’s Day gift.

David and his wife Carlene have five children, including 14-month-old Cody. Sadly, Cody’s had a difficult start to life and needs a tracheotomy tube to help him breathe and eat. His condition has meant trips to Starship and countless hospital appointments and procedures.

Cody needs constant care, so David has given up his job to stay at home – and with the arrival of twins Ryan and Jesse just a few weeks ago, he’s constantly on the go. It’s stressful, exhausting and sometimes utterly overwhelming, but he’s committed to being the best dad he can.

“Thank goodness for Plunket’s home visits,” he says. “They’re such a big help.”

Together with our principal sponsor BNZ, we arranged to give David a little surprise. You can imagine his face when three burly Blues and Crusaders players turned up at his door!

After recovering from the shock, David and Carlene were under orders to put their feet up while the crew – most of them dads themselves – did everything from weeding, mowing the lawn and trimming trees to cooking dinner, doing the washing, feeding and changing the babies and keeping Cody entertained. David and Carlene were so grateful for their help, and the kids were absolutely delighted!

It’s occasions like these that remind us how rewarding it can be give the simplest gift of all: our time. Just like a baby’s first smile, their first steps, and the first time they say “Dada”, it’s a reason to keep on giving – for our children’s sake.

Help us to help the dads – make a donation to Plunket

By making a donation to Plunket, you’re helping to provide courses for dads – such as Dads4Dads, Parents as First Teachers and Parenting Education classes for teenage dads. In some areas we run Saturday clinics so that working fathers can attend. There are also dozens of coffee groups and playgroups around the country where dads can get support from other dads.

Check out the Turnbull family receiving their early Father’s Day.

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If you would like to share your story contact stories@plunket.org.nz

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