Mum Bec Lawford and Indie Fitzgerald will celebrate her 9th birthday on Thursday and the Coast has been called on to help make it special.
Mum Bec Lawford and Indie Fitzgerald will celebrate her 9th birthday on Thursday and the Coast has been called on to help make it special.

Indie’s ‘miracle’ recovery in time for 9th birthday

Indie Fitzgerald is turning 9 this week, a birthday doctors feared she would not make.

Proud godmother and close family friend Sue Wynn said she wanted to make Indie's birthday "spectacular" and has called on the Coast to help.

Indie has a rare disease called infantile neuroaxonal dystrophy, which is terminal and affects brain and motor function, sight and hearing.

Heartbreakingly, the disease robbed her of the ability to walk and talk by the time she was 4-years-old.

Proud godmother Sue Wynn said Indie was the “toughest” person she’s ever met.
Proud godmother Sue Wynn said Indie was the “toughest” person she’s ever met.

Just weeks ago, Indie was in a hospital intensive care unit with her mum Bec Lawford and dad, Dean Fitzgerald, being told to prepare for the worst.

But against all odds Indie pulled through and is already heading back to school on Monday.

Indie's story first captured hearts across the Coast in 2016 and locals dug deep to raise more than $10,000 for her family.

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Since then, Indie and her family moved to Melbourne, before returning to the Sunshine Coast in 2019.

"(She was) going really well, and she's enrolled in Currimundi Special School," Ms Wynn said.

"She hadn't had a hospital visit, not like this one, since maybe 2019.

"She just got a cold a couple of weeks ago and with her illness that can turn bad really fast and it did.

Indie developed viral pneumonia.

"The doctors had told her parents that they couldn't see that she was getting any better and it was probably a good time to get people to come and see her."

Indie with her “amazing” dad Dean Fitzgerald.
Indie with her “amazing” dad Dean Fitzgerald.

Ms Wynn, her partner and two of their children immediately flew up to be by Indie's side.

"They were transporting her to Hummingbird House to make her comfortable, it's such a beautiful place and they look after them.

"But obviously Indie had other ideas."

Ms Wynn said Indie held her own after being taken off the masks and machines.

"It went from a matter of making her comfortable and just monitoring, to then we actually were able to drive her home to the Sunny Coast a couple of days later.

"My kid said to me 'It's a miracle, isn't it?'

"She's the toughest person I've ever met in my life."

Now Indie is back home on the Coast in time for her ninth birthday on Thursday, an age doctors once said she wouldn't make it to.

Ms Wynn, who lives in Melbourne, said she wanted to do what she could to make the birthday "spectacular".

She has called on the Coast for help, asking people to send Indie a birthday card.

Bec, Indie and little sister Ivy celebrating a birthday.
Bec, Indie and little sister Ivy celebrating a birthday.

"My daughter is her best friend, we've been up and celebrated the last four years with her, but this year we're locked out," she said.

"I'm trying to whatever we can from this end.

"I just want to make her birthday the best."

Local businesses have jumped on board to help make Indie's birthday special.

"Wattle & Gum have offered to set up a balloon garland at her home, Sunshine Grazing Co want to help out," Ms Wynn said.

For anyone wishing to send Indie a birthday message they can send a card to Our Sensory Space, located at 108 Grigor St W, Moffat Beach, to be passed on to Bec.

Ms Wynn said people could also send a message through the Indie's Fight Against INaD Facebook page.

"I just want her birthday celebrated, to show how loved she is," she said.

"I'm sure she knows but we can't be there so we want to do what we can."

Follow Indie's journey at Indie's Fight Against INaD.


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