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Little Lovre’s birth was a miracle for Robert and Monica Mikulic

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First-time parents Robert and Monica Mikulic say God worked them a miracle after their son Lovre, almost died at birth. Photo: Supplied/Alphonsus Fok
First-time parents Robert and Monica Mikulic say God worked them a miracle after their son Lovre, almost died at birth. Photo: Supplied/Alphonsus Fok

First-time parents Robert and Monica Mikulic say God not only gave them a gift in their son Lovre but a miracle.

The fair-haired toddler who loves playing with his toys, kicking a soccer ball and going with his mum and dad to church was the face of last week’s Easter Sunday edition of The Catholic Weekly.

Perched on his dad’s shoulders at the front of St Joachim’s Church in Lidcombe during prayers on Palm Sunday, he held up palm cross with an expression of serene absorption.

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The next day, traditionally the feast of the Annunciation, was the second anniversary of his release from Westmead Hospital after a near-catastrophic birth experience.

Lovre, named after the third-century deacon and martyr St Lawrence, became distressed around a week before he was due to be delivered in 2022.

Monica’s placenta had ruptured and with his heartbeat dropping rapidly they were rushed into surgery for an emergency caesarean while Robert anxiously called their mothers and priest friends.

“Praying the Rosary was the only other constructive thing I could do,” he recalled.

“In a situation like that you really have no choice but to trust in God.”

After an agonising wait he was allowed a quick look at his newborn son as hospital staff worked through the night to keep him alive.

Weighing a tiny 2.6kg, little Lovre was suffering severe breathing problems and dangerously low glucose levels. His dad was given no assurances that he would be ok.

Before being transferred for specialist care, he was taken to Monica’s hospital room to allow her to meet him for the first time and Robert performed an emergency baptism.

“Knowing he was baptised gave us so much peace,” Monica said.

Later, a visit from their priests Fr Epeli Qimaqima and Fr Daniele Russo further boosted their spirits.

On 25 March after weeks of intense medical care and testing Lovre was finally allowed home to continue his gradual recovery there.

Lovre with dad Robert in the front page photo from last week’s Catholic Weekly. ‘We were so proud to see him on the front page of the Easter edition,’ Robert said. Photo: Alphonsus Fok
Lovre with dad Robert in the front page photo from last week’s Catholic Weekly. ‘We were so proud to see him on the front page of the Easter edition,’ Robert said. Photo: Alphonsus Fok

Despite early fears he might have sustained permanent health problems including brain damage from a lack of oxygen, today he shows no signs of his fight for life.

Backed by skilled medical teams, prayers of hundreds of people and intercession of the saints, his parents are convinced God worked a “great miracle” for them.

“He’s a pretty normal two-year-old boy, he loves trucks and cars and kicking the soccer ball around, talking to our pet budgie, playing with his cousins,” said Monica.

“No one would know how sick he was unless they see the photos and we tell them the story,” Robert added.

“We’re very blessed.”

The little boy is also absorbing his parents’ deep faith.

“It’s the most important thing for us, Sunday Mass is the centre of our week and everything else is secondary to that,” said Robert.

“We take Lovre to adoration and he has been practicing genuflecting in front of the tabernacle.

“His grandfather made a solid wood cross for him and he will randomly go around the house with it singing ‘Alleluia.’

“He says to me ‘tata [dad] procession, procession’ and I have to process around with him and say prayers otherwise he gets upset with me.

“Another favourite is a toy thurible and he goes around pretending to incense things.

“Just to see him run around is a beautiful thing for us to watch. We were so proud to see him on the front page of the Easter edition of The Catholic Weekly.

“He’s our boy and we’re so grateful to God that he’s with us, first of all because we remember how close we were to losing him.”

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