Monbulk Boys
Reporter: Clare Brady

Traffic jams, cancelled flights, long queues -- we can all find something to complain about. But, James and Joel Bayard are two teenage boys you must admire.

Their mum died just two months ago, and they now juggle school work, final exams, part time jobs and a crippling mortgage, so they don't loose the family home that reminds them of their mum.

The two boys are battling, but they never complain. "Mum was up sort of on a section of the roof and she slipped. I heard her yell and turned just in time to see her drop. She landed and was on her back lying there and I came tearing down the start to help her. She was quite distressed and in a lot of pain, I ran back up and called the ambulance", James said.

Little did James and Joel think their mother carol would never come home from hospital. Carol, who brought the boys up on her own, had broken her pelvis --but there was something else. "They'd found a massive clot in her lungs which they think had formed around the pelvis...and moved up", James said.

Within two days, Carol was dead. ""The doctor came out and told us that she passed away and they tried for 45 minutes to bring her back and they just couldn't do it. It's the kind of thing that they can't spot it until it happens. With something like that, then the doctor said, it's really a race against time", James said.

"I've had moments where I've thought, particularly in the last couple of weeks, actually again that you'll see something or something will happen and you'll think oh I'll tell her about that, and then all of a sudden your brain kicks back in and you think oh no I won't cause she's not there anymore, so it's a bit's very strange", James said.

The boys haven't touched a thing in their mum's bedroom and don't intend to. That bedroom is the only thing frozen in time - but time is against these boys.

All James, 18 and Joel, 16, have is each other and not nearly enough money to keep a roof over their heads. "On the loan I think it's about $72,000, which is not a huge amount in the scheme of mortgages and home loans. But it's a lot of money for us to have to comprehend and deal with -- it's more than I've ever had in my life combined through anything I've ever earned", James said.

And these brothers are not used to charity. Growing up in a single parent family, things were tight -- always tight -- their mum taught them the value of a dollar and to be frugal.

After school James works part-time at the local pool and Joel heads off to the supermarket, where he does a shift before heading home to homework and more chores before bed.

What you won't hear from them -- still mourning their mum -- is whinging. "I think only the way mum brought us up we've always been independent. She always taught us if there's something to do, then for us to do it or try to do it before she went in. Sometimes that drove me mental, sometimes I would say, just help me, but now I see that she was preparing us for, I suppose, she was preparing us to move out but now she's had to prepare us for life without her at all", James said.

James wants to be a doctor -- Joel is keeping an open mind. Their teacher Sandra Piper says she learns about life from them. "They've been amazing, you wouldn't believe this has happened to them. The other day I had a test that was covering for the whole semester, since this thing had happened and James was the first one to hand it in. I thought this wasn't good, usually he does, and it's all good, but I thought he's failed big time and I thought fair enough. But he topped the class! Unbelievable! And I just thought to myself, how does that kid do that? Just unbelievable", Sandra said.

They are just fantastic, they're just great kids you know. As you get to have a chat to them, you realise that they're something special", Sandra added.

"I'd hate to think that her efforts were wasted if Joel and I dropped out of school or just sat at home and moped and felt sorry for ourselves all the time. It's natural to feel sorry for yourself some of the time in this situation and sometimes that happens and it hits - you're in class and you just sit there and think, oh my god what am I doing, why am I here, I want to go home. But you can't do that all the time. You just get in this downward spiral which I know she wouldn't want for Joel and I to be in. If she could, she'd come in and give us a slap around the head and say what the hell are you doing, you're better than that. To do our best is the best way to make sure her work didn't go without reward", James said.

A fund has also been set up to help the boys, with donations over $2 being tax deductible. Donations will be taken at any Commonwealth Bank.

Details are as follows:

Account Name: The Bayard Fundraising Appeal

Bank: Commonwealth Bank

Branch: Monbulk

BSB: 063 869

Account number: 10132533