Today in Australia more than 800 babies will be born. Of those new little Aussies, 70 will arrive too early and 35 will get here thanks to a helping hand from IVF. And now a landmark documentary series is putting all these babies under the spotlight.
Keeping Australia Alive is an incredible snapshot of a single day in Australia through the lenses of 100 cameras. Stretching from one end of the continent to the other, it shows how life begins as a blue line on a pregnancy test and ends as a flat line on the ECG. The seven-part series shows real stories of how we live, what we value, our quality of life and how Australians want to live and die.
You’ll meet Chrissie and Rob who have been trying to have a baby for many years. They’ve just finished another IVF cycle and are desperately hoping for a positive result to a pregnancy test. And there’s Vanessa, who decides to donate her eggs to a couple looking for a donor on Facebook.
From Brisbane comes the story of Ariana, nine months, who has a hole in her heart that must be repaired. Her mother and father face a very difficult day, made much harder when the mother’s health complication forces her to seek treatment at a nearby emergency hospital.
Professor Roy Kimble, head of the paediatric unit at Lady Cilento Children’s hospital in Brisbane, takes viewers on a day’s rounds. He operates on Jada, a three-year-old who was born with her internal organs outside the abdomen and on Caleb, seriously burnt in a fire at home.
The documentary introduces Nick and Carly in Canberra who are wrestling with the decision of whether to have genetic testing. Their first child, Dash, has cystic fibrosis and they have a 25 per cent chance of their next baby inheriting the disease if conceived naturally.
There’s a peek into the CALD maternity unit of Sunshine Hospital in Melbourne’s western suburbs, where more than 5200 babies are born each year. Some births are routine, but others become life-threatening emergencies. New Zealand couple Kahoo and Aaron, expecting their fifth baby, talk about being anxious after their last child died soon after birth. Watch the trailer here:
Keeping Australia Alive starts on the ABC on Tuesday, March 15 at 8.30pm.