Maddie (Donaghy) Francis

Media Articles + Awards

Click to open the stories.


"Biggest thanks to NICU Cheer for the most thoughtful Christmas hamper of goodies.  It really touched our hearts that volunteers are so supportive and committed to the journey of families with premature babies.  Many, many thanks and happy Christmas xo"

NICU Cheer Gift Bag Recipient

Xmas 2019

Here at Earlybirds we have the wonderful opportunity to meet and work with so many parents, families and friends of premature and small babies. This month, we’d love to introduce you to NICU Cheer, the brainchild of Maddie Francis – following the premature birth of her son Ashton in 2016.

NICU Cheer is all about brightening the days of parents and families of premature/sick babies who find themselves in the NICU on Christmas Day, and to let them know they’re not alone on this journey.

All the gift bags given to the families have product donated by businesses and people, and make such a fantastic difference during this time of year.

Lynda, Earlybirds (Founder/Owner)

December 2019

What an amazing thing you have created here!! Thanks you so much! I’m a NICU nurse + ANUM* at Mercy who worked on Xmas day and I saw first hand what an impact you made on these families!


As you would have seen from being a patient/parent of a NICU grad we get people from all walks of life here (in the NICU) and for some parents your gift was literally the best and/or only present they received and it really made a difference to parents who as you know are having a really difficult time.

So thank you again, you could have put your experience in the review mirror, but you have created something really special out of your experience and are paying it forward in such a wonderful way.

Hope your family have had a happy and safe holiday period.


Emma 👣❤️ 

NICU Nurse + *Associate Nurse Unit Manger,

NICU Cheer delivery 2019!

"Absolutely outstanding stuff!

My wife reminded me that we had tears of joy last year when we received ours. Such a great surprise during an emotional time.

Count me in for future donations. I hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas".

NICU Cheer Gift Bag Recipient 2017

"A big thank you to Maddie who, supported by her friends and family, donated gift bags for all of the parents of sick and premature babies who had to spend Christmas in hospital.

Maddie’s 2018 NICU Cheer campaign included 61 gift bags (including chocolates, hand cream, scented candles, pens and Christmas baubles) for parents, a jumbo hamper for our staff, colouring books for visiting siblings and clothing and wraps for the babies.

Maddie’s campaign was inspired by her beautiful little boy Ashton, who spent 6.5 weeks in our hospital when he was born premature in 2016.

Thank you also to Officeworks, Every Tiny Thing and The Little One for supporting Maddie's campaign ☺️"

Mercy Hospital for Women, Facebook 30 December 2018

"We’re extremely fortunate to have families of past patients support our hospitals.


This is the second year Maddie Francis has made up Christmas gift bags for parents of babies in our Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and Special Care Nursery at Mercy Hospital for Women".

Mercy Health Aus, Facebook 31 December 2018