Meet the Lovetts – Robert, Kiera and their 3 children Connor (9), Declan (7) and Evie-Lee (3). We are aiming to help house this beautiful family and we need your support to do so.
In 2018, the Lovetts relocated from Pt Lincoln to Adelaide to be closer to the urgent medical treatment Declan requires.
As a toddler, Declan was late in sitting, crawling, walking and talking. After consulting several medical specialists and undergoing tests, Declan was receiving therapy which was hoped would improve his condition. However, Declan’s health was rapidly declining and further doctor’s appointments and tests revealed the tragic diagnosis of leukodystrophy – a rare condition that has no cure. Robert and Kiera faced the reality that Declan would one day lose his battle with leukodystrophy.
Genetic testing revealed that both Robert and Kiera are ‘carriers’ of the gene that can cause leukodystrophy. They immediately had their other two children, Connor and Evie-Lee tested. The Lovett’s hearts broke again when Connor was also diagnosed with leukodystrophy in 2019. Evie-Lee will lose both her older brothers to this incurable condition.
Declan’s health has declined to a point where he can no longer walk or crawl, but instead drags himself around. He has a gastrostomy inserted in his stomach for medication and ‘top up’ feeds to his modified diet of soft, dissolvable foods and thickened liquids. Declan has a communication device, weekly therapy and requires 24/7 support.
Connor’s condition is also declining, losing his balance, writing ability and his short-term memory. Connor now requires assistance with everyday tasks such as showering, dressing and toileting.
Connor and Declan both attend Two Wells Primary School, where they receive great support. Attending school is about making friends and memories. Their school journey is not about preparing them for life after school. Both boys love going to school.
The Lovett’s are desperate to live in Two Wells, a community that has made them feel welcome. When the family is out and about in Two Wells, or at school drop off or pick up, people always go out of their way to say ‘hi’. Kiera says, “we couldn’t have found a better little town on the outskirts of Adelaide”.
Robert and Kiera describe both Connor and Declan as ‘warriors’ – the strength the boys have is beyond words, and they persevere through their daily struggles.
Adding to the family’s challenges, Robert was recently diagnosed with lymphatic cancer. In 2019, Robert noticed a mark on his index finger, but like many men, thought nothing of it and didn’t go to the doctor. At Kiera’s insistence, Robert has the spot under his fingernail test, which revealed it was a melanoma and would require partial amputation of the finger, as well a removal of nodes in his elbow and upper arm. The cancer has spread to other parts of the body, and Robert is currently undergoing further tests to confirm the extent and what treatment will be required. Robert resigned from work in April 2021 to help care for Connor and Declan.
The home will have special requirements to cater for the boys needs, including wider halls and door frames, a larger wet area and spacious living room, to allow for wheelchairs and walking frames.
Want to help build more homes for families like the Lovetts then, please consider donating today: https://habitat.org.au/sa