Dad struggles to care for toddlers after wife's sudden death
NO CHILD should have to live life without their mum, yet for two Ipswich toddlers that is their new reality.
Milania, five months, and Mateo, 4, lost their mum suddenly last year - just two weeks after baby Milania was born.
The siblings now rely solely on dad Phillip to care for them.
Family friend Belinda Beck has called on the community for support saying, "we couldn't sit back and watch him struggle anymore".
"Phillip had to take time off work serving our country to grieve with his children," Ms Beck said.
"During that time, he had to put things in place in order to return to work in a different role which allows him to stay in Australia and also be a full-time, widowed single-parent.
"Phillip is doing the best he can considering the circumstances.
"He works full-time, drops and picks the children up from daycare, makes lunches, gives the baby her bottles and is usually still awake late at night cleaning the baby bottles for school the next day."
Ms Beck said since returning to work, things had become increasingly difficult as Phillip was often forced to leave work early due to Milania and Mateo constantly falling ill at childcare.
She said her friend was a very proud person who never asked for help and she wanted to help him just as he had helped others during his time in the army.
"Phillip is absolutely the most amazing person we have ever met. I want to raise enough funds to make this next year easier for him and his children," Ms Beck said.
"Nothing can take away the emotional pain but as Phillip and his family are close friends of ours, we just felt we couldn't sit back and watch him struggle anymore.
"If we can try to ease the financial pressure he is under then that is one less thing he has to worry about."
So far, $575 of the $5000 goal has been raised by nine people in the first week of the campaign.
All monies raised will go towards purchasing baby products, daycare fees and general living expenses.
People can also donate nappies, wipes and general baby products to Ms Beck directly at her Augustine Heights residence.
Ms Beck set up a GoFundMe campaign to help ease the family's burden.
To find out more about how to drop off donations, contact Ms Beck at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
To donate money visit the GoFundMe page at www.gofundme.com/passed-away-too-soon.
If you or someone you know is struggling, call Lifeline on 131114.