Five generations of the women of the Stokes family (from left): Dolly Stokes with Emily Kirstenfeldt, Val Biddle, Lauren Chesson with Abby Kirstenfeldt, and Cathy Chesson.
Five generations of the women of the Stokes family (from left): Dolly Stokes with Emily Kirstenfeldt, Val Biddle, Lauren Chesson with Abby Kirstenfeldt, and Cathy Chesson. Renee Pilcher

Twin girls youngest of generations

AT 91, Dolly Stokes is honoured to be the oldest of five generations of women in her family.

The great-grandmother of 13 and great-great-grandmother of five is very thankful to still be around to meet the newest members of her family, twins Emily and Abby.

“To even think of my lovely family brings the biggest smile to my face,” Mrs Stokes told The Gympie Times yesterday.

“I am truly blessed. I didn’t think I was going to see them. They are just so precious.”

Mrs Stokes was unwell around the time the twins were born but managed to fight through it to make sure she was still around to see them.

Laughing at the notion that she is the matriarch of the five generations, Mrs Stokes says her longevity was all due to her large, caring family which dotes on her.

Daughter Val Biddle, 68, is the mother of Cathy Chesson, 44, grandmother of Lauren Chesson, 20, and great-grandmother of Lauren’s 12-week-old daughters, Emily and Abby Kirstenfeldt.

All Gympie locals, the women couldn’t thank the Gympie Hospital enough for ensuring the babies survived.

“They were delivered here in Gympie, nine-and-a-half weeks premature,” Lauren Chesson said. “They were supposed to be born in Brisbane but I went into labour unexpectedly on Australia Day. By the time I got to the hospital I was already in delivery stage and the doctor could see one of the baby’s arms was stuck so they rushed me down to surgery and did a caesar to save them.”

A nurse and doctor from Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital were brought to Gympie by helicopter for the operation. The babies and mum were flown back by helicopter where they were kept in the special care nursery for nine days before being sent to Nambour for a month and then back to Gympie for a week before going home.

Mother’s Day is a beloved time for the family, but Australia Day will now also have special significance.

Gympie Times


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