Cathy and David Henderson and their family are in a "nightmare" scenario - the magnitude of which was completely unexpected as they looked towards retirement - but the way the Gulgong community has rallied behind them has given some hope of waking from it.
Their son Leyden was sent to Manilla in the Philippines for work and while there met and fell in love with his now-wife Gerlyn. Baby Elijah was born on August 13, at 26 weeks weighing just 920 grams.
Gerlyn had been rushed to hospital with preeclampsia and required an emergency c-section after the placenta detached. Elijah has been in the neonatal intensive care unit for around four months and is now fighting a superbug.
However, the situation is exacerbated by the Philippines' user-pays hospital system, with their hospital bills at $155,000 - of which $40,000 is outstanding.
Cathy and David have used the redraw on their mortgage and superannuation to help, which isn't ideal with David's own health issues and being close to retirement and Cathy working two casual jobs to pay the bills.
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The couple don't like to ask for assistance, but with everything just about maxed out - and no end in sight to the situation - they've been given no choice.
"Occasionally you hear stories about horrible things like this happening, but you never expect it to happen. You hear in America of people who can't afford their medical treatment, so they're just left," Cathy said.
"And Leyden and Gerlyn have health insurance through their work, but it doesn't cover pregnancy and birth. It's been a total nightmare and it seems to be going on and on - and at the moment we can't see an end."
Cathy said the support they've received is "just phenomenal", especially with the drought biting hard.
"It has been absolutely amazing, we're just overwhelmed with what people are doing. They're coming out of the woodwork and some that I know don't have much money who are donating things or cash," she said.
"It's just unbelievable how the community has been and we've just been overwhelmed - I keep crying when they tell me who's given what.
"I think that it's that small town mentality, even though a lot of people are struggling."
- The charity auction for baby Eli will be held 12-5pm, Saturday, December 21, at the Prince of Wales Hotel, Gulgong.