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WIRF is one of Australia's leading organisations that is dedicated to improving the health of women and infants.

Vera champions preterm birth prevention

Vera champions preterm birth prevention

Vera Coleski is a successful business woman and an award-winning makeup artist. She is also the mother of a Little Angel.


In 2017, at just 23 weeks, Vera was admitted to King Edward Memorial Hospital and placed on strict bed rest. Despite all the efforts to prolong her pregnancy, Vera delivered her son Andrej at just 26 weeks.


“Discovering I was pregnant is something I will never forget,” Vera reflects.


“From that moment, you know you will forever have your heart walking outside of your body. But losing Andrej to premature birth was something nobody could have prepared us for. Our little boy fought so hard for the 5 days he spent on this earth.”


Worldwide, an estimated 15 million babies are born preterm each year. In 2015, preterm birth was responsible for nearly 1 million deaths. In WA alone, nearly 3000 babies are born preterm each year.


Despite an often consuming sense of grief and loss, Vera has invested her emotions and efforts into Andrej’s legacy through raising awareness of preterm birth and funds for the Women and Infants Research Foundation (WIRF) in honour of all the precious lost Little Angels.


“In memory of my little boy, I wanted to raise awareness of preterm birth and the complications that can arise from being born too soon.


“Although our memories of this traumatic time are challenging, being reminded of his strength is what pushes both my husband and I forward.”


In addition to the launch of a new product line and a hugely successful MyCause campaign, Vera recently hosted a High Tea for mums who have lost babies through pregnancy and infant loss as well as supporters of preterm birth prevention.


“The event, which attracted more than 180 guests, was a fantastic opportunity for mums to find strength and support through shared experiences, all the while remembering and celebrating their own Little Angel,” Vera said.


In total Vera has raised more than $13,000 for WIRF which will directly to enabling research and programs into preterm birth prevention.


WIRF Chief Operations Director, Deb Portughes said she was amazed by Vera’s strength, determination and ability to generate such a successful outcome.


“People like Vera who champion our community-based fundraising activities form a critical part of enabling us to innovate and respond to major health problems,” Deb said.


“Everyone at the Foundation is truly amazed and thankful for what Vera has achieved.”

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Contact details

Women and Infants Research Foundation
Carson House, King Edward Memorial Hospital
374 Bagot Road, Subiaco, WA 6008

Telephone: 08 6458 1437
Fax: 08 6458 1642
Email: info@wirf.com.au

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