Mother’s bid to help Mercy Hospital for Women is paying off

​   Owen and Aedan at Mercy Hospital for Women

A mother whose sons were born prematurely at Mercy Hospital for Women, has raised hundreds of dollars for the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) by selling her handmade dolls online. Melissa Bavin's 20-month-old twin boys Owen and Aedan were born at 26 weeks at Mercy Hospital for Women in November 2012, weighing just 695g and 849g respectively.

To add to the stressful situation, the family – which includes husband Stuart and children Rhianna, Rylan and Lucas ­– was also in the process of relocating to Brisbane. However, thanks to the hospital's expertise the boys stayed and received care in Melbourne. They are now happy and healthy.

During the past 12 months, Ms Bavin has spent hours trying to repay the family's appreciation, raising $671 for the NICU by utilising her creative skills and doll-making company Precious Little Poppets.

Between 25 and 27 July 2014, Mrs Bavin sold three of her dolls for $255 through online Facebook auction Collaborate for a Cause, which allows people to raise money for a charity of their choice.

Combined with the $110 raised via last year's Collaborate for a Cause event, the mother of five also raised $306 by selling 25 dolls through her Facebook page in November 2013 as part of an initiative, entitled Poppets for Prems.

"It's a pretty amazing feeling to give back like this, I don't have the cash to donate to a charity so this is how I can help,'' Ms Bavin said. "The money doesn't just buy medical equipment, it also helps provide things like privacy screens and chairs, the kind of things that really need to be updated."

More than 600 companies from across Australia took part in this year's Collaborate for a Cause, with about 240 items available for bidding.

For more information go to!/collaborate4acause/info or


                 Aedan Bavin                                      Owen Bavin

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