The Watty Family
Emma and Stephen Watty wanted to make their daughter’s legacy one that would inspire and help many others.
Sylvie Jules Watty was a beautiful, happy and active toddler who had a wonderful life; it was just way too short. At 15 months of age, she went to sleep perfectly well but never woke up.
Her parents, Emma and Stephen, were introduced to SIDS and Kids shortly after Sylvie’s death, and through counselling they found a path they could follow to lead them through their grief.
“You wonder what will happen; will you ever be happy again? To hear from a counsellor that you will get through and you will once again find a way to live a meaningful life, just meant so much,” they said.
Four months after Sylvie’s death they created ‘Team Sylvie Sunshine’, a group of friends and family who would participate in Run Melbourne 2014 to honour the life of Sylvie, raise awareness of SUDC (sudden unexplained death in childhood) and raise funds for SIDS and Kids NSW and Victoria to go towards research and support for families affected by this tragedy. More than $153,000 was raised.
“Our lives have changed forever, but we will live our lives for Sylvie. By running and raising money we have a focus; we can celebrate our little girl, and share her story with others. What SIDS and Kids do is incredible, and we want to help others who have experienced the death of their child get the help they need.”
On 13 April 2014 Lynette Hewitt’s world was rocked when her nephew and godson Vaelen passed away just shy of his third birthday.
When Lynette learned the counselling Vaelen’s parents, Britt and Glen, received from SIDS and Kids was free and supported by public donations she decided she wanted to do something to support the service.
“I just felt like I had to do something to help other people going through the pain that we had gone through,” Lynette says.
A friend had been talking about swimming to Rottnest Island and back and Lynette decided to take on this challenge as part of her fundraising effort.
“I had done three solo swims and a full Ironman but the thought of that scared the living daylights out of me! I said to myself ‘you better get off your butt and into action fast, because something this big needs about a year to train for!’”
Lynette started swimming every day, then twice a day, to get herself fit. She contacted SIDS and Kids, set up a fundraising page on Everyday Hero, and set a goal of $40,000.
On 7 March 2015, she set off at 5am to complete her solo swim, of nearly 40 km, from Cottesloe Beach to Rottnest Island and back.
“It was the best feeling ever having family, friends, swimming buddies and others, coming up to me hugging me and telling me how proud they are of me. I’m a lucky girl, having this opportunity to do something good in this world!”
Lynette has reached her goal of $40,000, but if you would still like to contribute to her tally visit https://rednoseday2015.everydayhero.com/au/lynettehewitt-hotmail-com.
See more of her story in the video below.