Friends rally to help baby Jahkai
BABY Jahkai does not know it, but he has a whole support network out there for him.
The six-month-old Buderim bub, who was born with Down syndrome, two holes in his heart, liver problems and several other health issues, is at the centre of fundraising efforts to help him through life.
His parents, Karlea and Storme Drinkwater, have been touched by the gestures of strangers and friends, some of whom they have not seen in 20 years.
Maroochydore High School class of 1992, of which Mr Drinkwater was a graduate, has banded together to host a fundraiser for their former classmate's newborn come the 20-year reunion in September.
There will also be an online auction on Facebook page Jahkai Drinkwater Auction Appeal on July 8, with all funds raised going to cover the baby's medical costs.
"There has been so much love and support from friends and then those we don't know," Mrs Drinkwater said.
"They've stepped out of daily life and put their problems aside to help people like us.
"Jahkai is a petal in a big pond when it comes to kids with special needs.
"We didn't want anyone feeling sorry for us. I've learnt to accept and be grateful."
Mrs Drinkwater, 27, said she did not have a screening for Down syndrome during her pregnancy as the family did not have the money for it at the time.
According to statistics, the likelihood of carrying a baby with Down syndrome ranges from about one in 1295 at age 20 to about one in 82 at age 40.
Jahkai will have open heart surgery tomorrow.
To bid in the online auction, search Jahkai Drinkwater Auction Appeal on Facebook.