Stroke survivors - Maryborough's (L) Hudson, Janelle, Mason and Toni Chirio.
Stroke survivors - Maryborough's (L) Hudson, Janelle, Mason and Toni Chirio. Alistair Brightman

Miracle twins to join Wall Token Woollies campaign

MARYBOROUGH parents Toni and Janelle consider their identical twins Hudson and Mason Chirio to be little miracles.

The twin boys were conceived using the IVF program and have survived medical problems that many doctors said was impossible.

Now the boys have been selected to stand as the Fraser Coast ambassadors for the Children's Hospital Foundation and Woolworths annual Regional Wall Token Campaign.

The campaign aims to raise funds for sick kids in local communities across Queensland and Northern New South Wales.

Toni and Janelle said it was a completely normal pregnancy up until about 20 weeks when Mason had a growth discrepancy.

The couple who lived near Gladstone had to travel to Brisbane for the birth when Janelle was just 34 weeks and five days because it was discovered that she had two babies in one placenta.

"After the birth everything was fine and normal until they were 12 weeks old when Hudson had what we now know was a seizure,” Janelle said.

"The entire right side of his body went limp, his head turned to the left and his eyes deviated to the left and bounced.

"His head came straight after four months and his eyes finally came straight after at about six-and-a-half months.

"We went to our paediatrician straight away and she told us that he had had a stroke even before he was put under a scan.”

After a MRI scan confirming the diagnosis they were told Hudson would never be able to do anything and whatever he does would be a miracle.

Stroke survivors - Maryborough's (front) Hudson and Mason Chirio.
Stroke survivors - Maryborough's (front) Hudson and Mason Chirio. Alistair Brightman

"They said to expect him to do nothing.

"Toni and I both said this is our little boy and he had survived a stroke we were determined to get him to do as much as he possibly can,” Janelle said.

"He has been in therapy since 16 weeks old and two days after his fourth birthday, he stood up and walked - he took his first steps.”

Hudson also got contractible epilepsy and hydrocephalus.

During all of this Janelle and Toni knew something was also wrong with Mason.

The doctors thought the couple were imagining the problems but when Mason was subjected to a MRI their worst fears were realised.

"Getting told that both your kids have brain damage is something you can't prepare yourself for,” Janelle said.

"We spent about two-and-a-half years in and out of hospital in Brisbane.

"The neurosurgeon in Brisbane suggested we move to the Fraser Coast region because it was the best area to go for all your Cerebral Palsy League, resources, therapists, everybody.

Stroke survivors - Maryborough's (L) Janelle, Hudson, Mason and Toni Chirio.
STROKE SURVIVORS: Maryborough's (from left) Janelle, Hudson, Mason and Toni Chirio. Alistair Brightman

"Toni grew up in Maryborough and her parents still live here - so now we have made it our home.”

The boys go to Granville Kindy were Toni and Janelle cannot praise the staff enough.

"They have been amazing - I struggled to get them in anywhere because of them having disabilities but Granville accommodated us straight away.

"Both boys have their own carer and the kindy held a sports day recently where Hudson could play too.”

Janelle and Toni feel the same way about the Lady Cilento Children's Hospital and the Children's Hospital Foundation.

"We could never thank them enough for saving our little boy - without them he would of been gone a handful of times now.

"The hospital told us Woolworths was looking for 12 kids.

"They needed someone for the whole of the Fraser Coast area and would we be willing to have Hudson and Mason represent the area and of course we said absolutely.

"All funds raised in their region will go towards the paediatric unit at Bundaberg Hospital.”

Shoppers are asked to visit their local Woolworths and purchase a $2 Wall Token between Monday September 4 and Sunday October 1.