Ruby Dodd’s husband remembers in full colour what happened on Thanksgiving Day, 2009, and not because the turkey caught fire.
He was sitting by the bedside of his baby daughter, Kaylee, in BC Women’s Hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). Born at 25 weeks, the Dodd’s first child weighed only one pound, 10 ounces (730 grams) and couldn’t breathe or eat on her own.
Her progress had been good, but on that day her heart rate dropped dangerously low and the nurses had to compress her chest, barely the width of the average palm, to get it going again.
The episode showed Kaylee’s dad two things: how fragile life is for these tiny babies and just how dedicated and skilled the nurses are who take care of them.
Today, Kaylee is just like any other lively two-year-old: talking, running and playing, and both parents credit her progress, and theirs as parents, to the care they all received when Kaylee was at BC Women’s Hospital’s NICU.
“We hadn’t had any prenatal classes and we didn’t even have a baby bag ready to go, “says Dodd. “In addition to taking such good care of Kaylee, the nurses eased us into our role as parents, which is even more challenging with a preemie.”
In one of life’s strange twists of fate, Ruby Dodd, a nurse herself, was so inspired by the NICU staff that she decided to join them, paying forward the care that restored her own precious child to health.
Kaylee is now 4 years old and is a very imaginative and outgoing little girl, who loves to make new friends and charm her way into their hearts!