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Baby joy for grieving family
Baby joy for grieving family

A health scare made his first week stressful but Chase Christopher Sturman's arrival was the brightest moment for his family in a year filled with despair and heartbreak.

Emma Cate, the elder sister of murdered Dawesville teenager Jessie Cate, and her partner, Reece Sturman, could finally take Chase home yesterday after the newborn spent a week in Princess Margaret Hospital's neonatal unit.

The 18-year-old first-time mother could hold her son only for a couple of minutes after giving birth because of his breathing difficulties.

A daunting week in three different hospitals with your baby on a breathing machine would frighten any parent, but Ms Cate said she was not overly worried and felt her sister's presence throughout.

She said Chase would grow up knowing Jessie, who was 15 when killed in December.

"I'll definitely tell him every- thing about her, what a great sister she was and what a great aunt she would have been," she said.

"I wouldn't say the chapter is closed because regardless, I'll never get over it and it will always be with me, but now I can focus on me, Reece and our family together."

Chase was born on September 14 at Peel Health Campus, weighing 3.4kg. After a stint in PMH, he was sent to Rockingham Hospital, where doctors yesterday gave him the all-clear to go home.

Now Chase is home, healthy and able to be cuddled, his adoring family - including Emma's mother Judy and three other siblings - finally have a reason to celebrate.

Chase's name is a tribute to Jessie because it was her favourite boy's name.

Ms Cate said the family was ecstatic at Chase's arrival and her youngest daughter, six-year-old Mia, had been longing to hold her baby nephew.