Boy beats deadly bacteria, health struggles to get to school
THE first day of school is an important moment for every child.
Fitting in with new classmates, meeting their teachers and finding out what they will learn are among the biggest challenges of that first day.
But for Mason Window, 5, just making it to the classroom today for his first day of Prep was the biggest challenge of all.
Mason fought back from the brink of death when he was a baby after he was struck down with deadly necrotising fasciitis.
The bacteria spread from baby Mason's bowels throughout his body after routine surgery.
He has faced other health challenges since then as well.
His mum, Lauren Perry, was unsure whether he would start school on time.
"He's had surgeries his whole life," Lauren said.
"It's been a rough time but at least he gets to go to school."
The family, who are from Hervey Bay, had to move to Brisbane while Mason recovered from his latest surgery.
"He had lots of complications," Lauren said.
Living at Ronald McDonald House, the time was challenging for the whole family, including Mason's twin, Chloe.
Born slightly before him, she is very much the protective big sister and today she will be by his side as they walk into the classroom for the very first time.
Lauren said she was glad the two were starting their journey in the same class.
"She's always been very protective of Mason, she's his number one fan honestly.
"They always do everything together."
As students return to the classroom across the Fraser Coast, Lauren is feeling like many other parents across the region - both sad and excited.
"I'm a bit sad after everything our family has been going through," she said.
"I'm going to miss them so much but I'm really excited to see them grow, it's going to be really special," Lauren said.
The twins are attending Fraser Coast Anglican College together.
"They look so cute, ridiculously cute," Lauren said.