Family overjoyed after mission to rescue tiny Tongan 'queen'
A SWIFT decision to rescue a baby from the other side of the country has brought immeasurable joy to a Warwick family as they welcome the little girl gorgeous baby into their home.
When Sita Mulliss received a phone call to say a distant relative had given birth, she had an hour to decide whether she would care for the child as her own.
The mother suffered memory loss after she had a seizure and hit her head a few days after the baby was born.
She is currently in a coma, and doctors have said she would be lucky to live more than a few months.
But as her family tried to make arrangements for the baby's care, they uncovered a letter in the mother's wallet.
"This letter was written by her before the birth and it was saying, 'If anything happened to me could my one of my relatives look after my children'," Mrs Mulliss said.
Mr Mulliss remembers growing up with the mother, whose name the family wishes to keep private due to her medical state.
"We were very close with one another. We used to play together a lot when we grew up in Tonga," Mrs Mulliss said.
It had been years since the pair had seen each other when a call came last Thursday asking Mrs Mulliss and husband David if they would care for the child.
"It was very difficult, but we both thought about it and decided we have to do this for the little girl," Mrs Mulliss said.
Despite Mrs Mulliss having just signed a new contract as a full-time aged care nurse, the young family of five decided there was room for one more in their home.
Less than 48 hours later, Mrs Mulliss was on an eight-hour plan trip to the other side of Australia.
"When I saw my relative in a bad way she didn't recognise me - it was very emotional," Mrs Mulliss said.
"But the moment I held the baby in my arms I loved her dearly."
Arriving back in Warwick, the family welcomed Charlotte, who they named after a famous Tongan queen.
"Our sons, they really love her dearly," Mrs Mulliss said. "They really want to hold her and cuddle her all the time, as soon as they come home from school."
Mr Mulliss said Tongan attitudes towards caring for children by family members was based on their close family ties.
"In Polynesian culture, family adoption is very common," he said. "It is very easy to adopt a child because the family bonds are so strong."
Now seven weeks old, Warwick Hospital senior midwife Ross Newton said the baby looked healthy.
Mrs Mulliss wanted to thank her colleagues at Community Options and Akooramak, who welcomed the baby to Warwick with donations of toys and clothes.