Leanne and her "Mini" Cooper

Mini Cooper was born at 28 weeks 2 days. It's hard to believe when you've held and snuggled your baby right after birth that his mother Leanne had to wait 4 days until she was able to hold him for the first time.  It took 3 people and about 15 minutes to carefully place him in her arms.    

Leanne stayed in Vancouver  and stayed with her baby boy in the NICU from early morning 'til late at night for 3 months while Coopers father Steve stayed at home with their daughter Maija at their home in Kitimat.   Though it was a rough start, and they all missed each other desperately they said they formed friendships with other NICU families that will last a lifetime.  

Leanne and her new friends Michelle, Krystal, Natalie and Kylie were all from out of town and all staying at Easter Seals.  They would all drive to BC Women's together in the morning, eat lunch, dinner and even pump together! They lived through good days and bad days together.  "It was the best of the worse experience of their lives." says Leanne, adding “you never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have."

Grateful to the doctors and RT’s for their support, she attributes her survival through this stressful time to her three incredible nurses – Heather, Laura and Kylie and her NICU friends.  "This experience brought me so close to so many incredible people." 

Cooper is now three years old and is thriving.  He's the same height and weight as his playmates, can ride a bike, play hockey and is chatting up a storm!  He's an inspiration!

Michelle, Krystal, Leanne, Natalie and Kylie in the NICU together.

Cooper - Hockey Star!!