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In memory of 16-month-old Nikki Adipas

Both parents self-employed, grieving the loss of their daughter and unable to work, reach out for help to cover the high costs of the headstone after the burial last week

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Nikki Adipas. Photo: courtesy of the Adipas family

31 January 2017

Tuesday the 24th of January will forever be remembered as the worst day in the lives of Sylvia and Evan Adipas, as their beautiful little girl Nikki, sadly passed away. I often hear people say "no parent should out-live their child" and I agree wholeheartedly. Her mother, describes Nikki as a bubbly, bouncy little girl, always smiling and making people laugh with her cheeky faces and infectious grin. Her parents told me of how Nikki and her bunny blanket were inseparable and that, every night before bed, she begged for them to dance with her, simply saying "dancing?", it was hard to resist.

After having issues conceiving naturally, like many couples, Evan and Sylvia turned to IVF and were successful by their second round. Sylvia suffers from Crohn's disease, so was put on steroids during her pregnancy to ensure the safe delivery of her baby.

Nikki was welcomed into the world three weeks earlier than anticipated, a gorgeous and healthy baby girl, their dream of a family becoming a reality. Nikki, despite being premature, was flourishing and meeting all her developmental milestones, she was a happy little baby girl showing much promise, the world was her oyster.

Nikki fell ill at the age of 7.5 months, and spent the first two weeks in ICU, nursed at the Ronald McDonald house. She was diagnosed with a Pneumococcal infection, resulting in Sepsis, HUS, Meningitis and acute Renal failure (which required kidney dialysis). As a result Evan and Sylvia were told Nikki may be challenged with developmental delays, but Nikki set out to prove "them" all wrong and was hitting and surpassing all her milestones. She developed a rare condition called Howell-Jolly body, as a result of her initial infections. Her parents were told to carefully monitor this, in the case that her immune system wasn't as strong as required to fight the disease. Nikki recovered well and enjoyed another 9 months with her family and friends, growing and blossoming into a strong and happy little girl.

The evening of Monday the 23rd of January, she was rushed to hospital by her parents, she was presenting with a high fever and vomiting. By the time they reached the hospital Nikki was described as lethargic and falling in and out of consciousness, her rare bacterial blood infection had struck again. Urine and eventually blood tests were taken but by this stage a rash had developed and spread rapidly across her entire body, moments later she went into cardiac arrest.

Nikki was rushed into emergency surgery, she was put on an ECLS machine and a blood transfusion was connected, unfortunately her little body wasn't cooperating and eventually stopped responding. Tuesday morning marking the last day in an extremely short lived life here on earth for Nikki Adipas.

Evan and Sylvia Adipas, with the help of family and friends, have reached out to spread awareness and to raise funds for the Ronald McDonald house. Both self employed, grieving the loss of their 16 month old daughter and unable to work, reached out for help to cover the high costs of the headstone after the burial of their daughter last week. Sylvia is currently 22 weeks pregnant and Evan has chosen to stay home and support his wife in this extremely difficult time. The response so far has been overwhelming from their family, friends and Greek community. Sylvia says she feels "blessed to be surrounded by our family, friends and loved ones and feel supported by the generosity of people we don't even know. We truly have no words, other than thank you'.

If you would like to contribute to the family you can do so via email at sylvia.adipas@hotmail.com

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