How Starship helped this baby girl survive will bring tears to your eyes

Publish Date
Monday, 25 June 2018, 1:30PM

"The radiologist's face just sunk and [they said] 'this baby’s got to come out right now'".

Kiwi mum Mimi’s world "changed forever" when her little girl Olympia was born early via an emergency caesarean, she told Estelle and Jason Kerrison on air, but she was able to make it through thanks to the help of the dedicated team at Starship.

The newborn had had trouble breathing and after spending time at Starship’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) was showing signs of seizures.


Starship neurologist Dr Sharp ordered an MRI scan it was then devastatingly discovered that Olympia had suffered Catastrophic Global Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE) - a form of brain damage that occurs when an infant’s brain does not receive enough oxygen and blood. In Olympia’s case, this had happened while she was still in the womb.

Olympia and her family spent 22 days at Starship and throughout the help, care and support they received from the doctors was truly invaluable. 

Mimi says the ability of Starship's Neurology team to "articulate a very complex situation to us from day one in a way that has enabled us to navigate our way through the many challenges rationally, with optimism."

"The best thing I can do is just pump positive energy into [Olympia] and everyone around us."

Now, 16-months old the beautiful young girl is thriving and her "sassy" personality is already showing through.

"She’s a sassy little girl," Mimi says, "I think that was my greatest fear at the beginning that she’s going to be a vegetable and she’s not going to know who I am and all these things - [but] she totally knows who we are and she knows who she is."

"It changed us forever – definitely [taught us to] more than ever live in the moment," Mimi continued.

"I’m just not going to think too far in the future because I have no idea what’s going to happen and so I’m going to live for today and I’m not going to compare our situation to anybody else’s because it belongs to us - and I’m really happy being in that bubble."

Listen to Mimi and Olympia's full story above.

How to help support Starship

Starship is our national children’s hospital. Each and every generous dollar donated to the Starship Foundation will make a difference to children all over New Zealand. The Starship Foundation is committed to having a transformational impact in:

- Extending and saving lives

- Emotional and family support 

- Faster recovery and less invasive treatments

- Equity, ensuring no child is left behind due to ethnicity or geography

- Enabling preventative solutions

- Lifting spirits and reducing pain.

Please help, by supporting Starship at