Thank you for supporting Kiwi kids and their families – just when they need it the most.

Support Kiwi kids like Isla

Francie and Mark's little baby Isla seemed odd. “She didn’t want to be touched or cuddled. She was very grizzly.  And she wouldn’t feed.”

Not feeding. That was a warning sign their Whānau Āwhina Plunket nurse had told them about. Without that clear advice, Isla might not be alive today.

By 11.30pm, Francie and Mark were frantic. But they worried they might be panicking over nothing. “We thought maybe we should wait until the morning.”

When they finally called PlunketLine, Francie and Mark were horrified to hear that Isla had many of the symptoms of meningitis. Scarily, those symptoms can be the same as for many other illnesses. Like Covid. Like the flu. Measles. RSV. Even like the symptoms of a cold which is what they thought Isla might have.

Tracy, the registered nurse on the other end of the line, listened closely. “She asked lots of questions. She checked Isla’s feeding and whether she was floppy. She then quickly decided that Isla needed to be seen urgently. She was fantastic. She reassured us we weren’t being silly. She told us to go straight to A&E. Don’t hesitate. Get there.”

At the hospital (and after sticking a big needle into little Isla’s back to test her spinal fluid), it was confirmed. Isla had bacterial meningitis. Without antibiotics, this can be fatal. Even with treatment, you can still die.

Even if Isla survived, she could be blind or deaf. A lifetime of seizures, brain damage, other tough physical and learning challenges.

If Francie and Mark hadn’t been able to contact PlunketLine in their panic late at night, they could have lost their beautiful baby Isla. Or Isla could have lost her legs or her arms to infection. Or suffered other life-altering side effects.

“Isla nearly died. We are just so grateful to PlunketLine for telling us to go to A&E urgently.”

This was pre-Covid. Imagine Francie and Mark’s worry and confusion today. Imagine their fear of reaching out for help. Their fear of bothering someone for what seemed to be nothing. Their fear of Covid. Their anxiety around breaching restrictions. Breaking the rules.

“As it was, we nearly waited until the next day. That could have been fatal. If we had not made that call to PlunketLine, Isla might not be here today. Bouncing around. Full of life.”

Please donate and give frightened families the confidence of knowing that Whānau Āwhina Plunket is always there for them – providing calm, accurate advice … in person, by phone or online for a virtual visit.

You can help connect frightened parents like Francie and Mark with vital support – just when they need it the most. No matter what time of the day (or night) it’s needed.

Including Christmas Day. Including holidays. All day, every day. 24/7, 365 days of the year.

Thank you for making a such wonderful difference in your community.

How you can donate

Donate online today using the form below.

Or please call 0800 20 55 55 or email 

You can also donate via bank transfer:

Royal New Zealand Plunket Trust

Make sure that you include your supporter number in the reference fields. If you don't have a supporter number, an address would be helpful.

View our privacy policy here.