Miracle triplets Kennedy, Austin and Zac ready for school

Miracle triplets Kennedy, Austin and Zac ready for school

It’s excitement times three for Queensland triplets Kennedy, Austin, and Zac Croll as they get ready for their first day of school on Monday.

Parents Helen and Tyson Croll said they a little nervous at the thought of their miracle trio attending Cannon Hill State School for the first time.

“I think I will cry on their first day, with mixed emotions, but mostly relief that we made it,” Helen, from Cannon Hill, said.

“It’s a day I couldn’t even visualise five years ago. We are proud parents.”

Helen described raising triplets as “full on”.

“It feels like we’ve been in survival mode for the past five years, so it will be strange sending them to school five days a week and not being there for some of their experiences,” she said.

“Raising triplets, two of whom are neurodivergent, has certainly been the biggest challenge we have faced, but it’s been equally as fun and amusing – and an absolute achievement.”

The triplets were born six weeks premature and within two minutes of each other at Mater Mothers’ Hospital in South Brisbane arrived on 2 February 2018, each weighing 2kg.

Helen, 38, said she had a shortened cervix and was put on bedrest for eight weeks before her babies arrived.

Across the state, an estimated 12,000 Mater babies are expected to start school on Monday.

Each year nearly 2,000 very sick and premature babies receive round-the-clock specialist care from the multidisciplinary team in Mater Mothers’ Neonatal Critical Care Unit (NCCU).

Zac spent 24 hours in intensive care with a pneumothorax (collapsed lungs), and Austin and Kennedy spent just 12 hours in there, said Helen.

The trio were later transferred to the Special Care Nursery where they stayed for more than two weeks.

“Both myself and our babies received excellent care at Mater. We are so grateful for the intensive care and special care teams,” Helen said.

“They took incredible care of our babies, were there for us whenever we had questions or needed a hug.

“They helped me learn to breastfeed and taught us everything we needed to know as first-time parents – feeding, changing, and bathing the boys.

“We were also impressed with the developmental support we received from the allied health team for the 12 months post-birth.”

Helen said Monday would be a big day for the trio.

“We are thankful that they have each other and will be in the same class for prep with a lovely teacher,” she said.

“They have some friends already who have transitioned from their kindergarten.

“Kennedy is excited to see her friends and play on the monkey bars.

“Zac is excited to learn how to write letters and to play in the playground and Austin is excited to look after the chickens they have at school.”

Helen said the triplets had completely different personalities.

“One of the only things they have in common is their birthday,” Helen said.

“Kennedy is strong and independent, she is the oldest, and likes to tell us that!

“She loves Barbies and makeup. Zachary is very practically minded and enjoys building and creating things and riding his bike.

“Austin has a huge passion for animals and also enjoys cooking and more recently painting.” 

Helen said she was looking forward to having some 'me' time back, although the triplets would still keep her busy.

“I’m not looking forward to packing school lunches and washing school uniforms,” she said.



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