This year, Polly & Grant received a letter from Fiona, a co-worker and friend of Viola, who works as a nurse in Wellington's NICU. A full-time nurse who is also a mother to 8 and cares for her elderly mother, there's no denying how busy of a household she maintains. But it wasn't just those facts that stood out to us in Fiona's letter about Viola.
If you'd like to contribute to Viola's family, you can via our bank account
(Please reference More FM when making your deposit)
Read the full letter below:
Dear Polly & Grant,
I am nominating my amazing workmate Viola.
Viola is a dedicated member of the nursing team at Wellington NICU, looking after our most vulnerable & fragile members of society.
She is a valued team member of NICU who gives 100%.
She never complains, is very supportive to her colleagues and has a great connection with the neonates whānau. She has a great sense of humour and tries to do accents poorly :)
Viola chose to study nursing 10 years ago to make a better life for her family. She completed her Bachelor of Nursing while (along with her husband) raising her 7 school age children.
Viola and Apo (Viola's husband) are proud active members of the Tokelauan community. She is actively involved in the church and is always willing to give her time when asked.
Along with working full time as a dedicated nurse, she is also a mother to 8 children including one a nephew who she recently took in as he needed a place to go, and a son with Downs Syndrome.
If this is not enough she is also the caregiver to her elderly mother, which she would have no other way.
When asked by a team member how she manages will so many people living under one roof her reply was "I have a lot of love to give" which I think epitomises Viola and her attitude to life.
In the last 2 years, Viola and her family have been struggling financially with costs of day to day living i.e. with bills, putting food on the table and a roof over the heads of their ever-growing family.
In the last 6 months, the family has had a lot of misfortunate events happen to members of their family. This has lead to more struggles with finances. For example, Viola and her husband have become full-time caretakers for Viola's 82-year mum, their 17-year-old nephew who has recently been moved in with them following his own problems, and her oldest son was recently in a car accident and is currently unable to work.
All 11 of them are crammed into a 4 bedroom house, with social workers unable to help find them a bigger place.
They live week to week - with barely enough money to cover the bills - food is considered a luxury.
Appropriate meals are only provided for the grandmother and youngest child with the rest living on bread and noodles.
Viola has required dental care for an abscess but has been unable to afford to get treatment, thus living with a lot of pain.
Her son recently turned 5 years old, but due to their financial struggles he was unable to have a birthday - there was no party.
Through all this Viola and Apo are amazing parents. Their children are all amazing kids and have inherited the same values and qualities that we all love and respect of Viola.
All her children are good students, with her oldest daughter in her 1st Year of Nursing, and her son doing an apprenticeship.
Every day Viola turns up to work (she is a dedicated neonatal nurse looking after the babies and whānau's) leaving all her troubles at the door. She is a loving wife, mother and daughter - never asking for anything for herself and always putting her family first.
This family is a very strong unit, they live on love and support each other. They don't have basics at times - let alone luxuries - but they are a united close-knit family.
Please, Polly & Grant, help this amazing woman and her family this Christmas.