How 'little cough' nearly killed Qld tot
IAN Hudson's voice quivers and tears flood his eyes as he begins to reflect on a "nightmare" four weeks.
The Gold Coast father took his five-year-old daughter Lily to the doctor last month to sort out a little cough.
They have been in and out of intensive care ever since.
"We know how close we have come twice to losing her and it breaks our heart," Mr Hudson said.
"We firstly noticed Lily had a little cough, it was nothing big. Then she became more tired so we took her to the doctor and was rushed to the Gold Coast for emergency lung treatment and surgery.
"Since January 8 we have not left the hospital.
"The hospital staff have been amazing, but as a parent you feel helpless.''
Shortly after Christmas, Lily and her twin sister Kiki contracted a common cold.
Unlike Kiki, Lily's sore throat, fever and cough developed into life-threatening pneumonia.
Lily's parents Zoe and Ian have moved from Uki in northern NSW to be at Lily's bedside in Southport.
They do not want to admit it but they are struggling financially.
The family-of-four run Crabbes Creek Catering, a small community pop-up restaurant business. But they have been unable to work for several weeks with Lily being in and out of intensive care and the costs of travel, parking and accommodation have ballooned.
Mr Hudson's best friend, Mike Stephan, set up a GoFundMe page and has raised more than $7000 in just over a week.
Mr Stephan said: "With Lily sick and close to dying I felt powerless and my family decided to do what we could do to support the Hudson's and keep heads above water. They have no holiday pay or sick leave and taking a few months off to care for Lily could really sink them."
After seeing reality of the disease first-hand, Mr Hudson said parents should "always trust their gut instinct and do not just ignore a cough".
Gold Coast Primary Network board director Dr Lisa Beecham said the warning signs of pneumonia were hard to identify.
"If something does not seem right and your child has fast breathing, wheezing, fever, chills and a cough see a doctor or contact 13 HEALTH for advice," she said.