“How do you put it into words what it means to come to Hummingbird House?” Mason Haevecker’s mum Renee thought for a moment and then responded: “the break. The kids can be themselves. Mason is 24/7. We can all just breathe out and get a break.”

Mason’s condition is as a result of a cardiac arrest after his second operation to repair a heart defect. “We never knew this would happen to us. It all happened when he was 8 weeks old. He was a normal baby, and then it all just changed.”

Mason is very cuddly. Renee says that he’s very different to other kids. He loves to listen to heavy metal music. The American heavy metal band Disturbed  is his favourite. “That’s what he listens to at night on his iPad. The nurses at Hummingbird House will play it for him there too. Mason has the trendiest hair. He has had 4 haircuts all ready. Oh! And I can’t forget that he is a staunch North Queensland Cowboys supporter. He loves them.”

For Renee, coming to Hummingbird House means meeting a lot of things: meeting other families; sitting having dinner with them; and watching the children all get along. “I really look forward to it. I know there will be no stress. Adam and I can also go upstairs and watch Bachelor in Paradise.”

“But really, what I love the most is that I know I’ll get a full night’s sleep. Downstairs in the beautiful family accommodation suites. Mason can wake a few times a night, for up to an hour and a half. But when we are in Hummingbird House, I know I can sleep through the night, without being disturbed. That’s so important. The suites have everything there you need. The beds are so comfy. I know you have housekeepers there too, but I can do the washing in the suite. It’s all just there.”

Mason’s sisters love another really important part of staying at Hummingbird House. The spa bath in the family accommodation suite. “Here, at home, I have to tell them to have a bath, whereas at Hummingbird House, they ask, ‘can we have a bath tonight?’, and I say ‘sure’. And it’s such a treat to enjoy, they are there for half an hour.”

Mason’s favourite part of staying at Hummingbird House is swimming in the pool. “It’s so warm. He just loves it. We don’t have a pool, so that’s another treat for him.”

When asked what matters most for Renee, she replied: “Mason, he’s still here. We are all together. He is still here. He was only supposed to live two weeks after his cardiac arrest. He wasn’t supposed to be here past 10 weeks of age. He’s now 15 months old. He is what matters most.”