Patient + Donor Stories
With the holiday season getting close, I want to tell you a story of how my life was drastically altered when a PAP test led to a call that no woman ever wants to get. “You have cervical cancer.” The words echoed in my head. The moment may have seemed surreal, but the urgency in the doctor’s voice was not a dream. My little girls were all I could think of.
- Pregnancy loss can be a very traumatic experience – one that is usually not talked about. Even one miscarriage can be devastating, but there are some women who will miscarry multiple times and very often bear the heavy emotional burden silently. Miriam and Dario Giordani are a young Vancouver couple who have experienced the sorrow and pain that comes from multiple miscarriages – and they are now doing their absolute best to break the stigma around early pregnancy loss.
- BC Women’s staff prioritized baby Oliver’s bonding with his dads.
- Thanks to you, an important, new model of care made it possible for Parisa and baby Shayan to stay together in the NICU’s Intermediate Nursery.
- Lindsay’s baby boy was helped by the generosity of donor moms. Now Lindsay is giving back.
- The extraordinary skill of the Maternal Fetal Medicine team saved Jenn’s daughter Keira – before she was even born.
- How Kerry’s life was saved, and what she’s doing for her daughters.
I always knew I wanted to have my baby at BC Women’s Hospital . It was the best decision I ever made.
- Thanks to the Mr. and Mrs. P.A. Woodward’s Foundation, BC Women’s Hospital has been able to purchase and put into use critically needed infant transport incubator components – a Cross-Vent Ventilator and a Cardio-Respiratory Monitor.
How the lives of two dads were transformed by the caring and generosity of a loving surrogate mom.
- Joy. Confusion. Terror. I felt such a range of heart-stopping emotions the day I gave birth to my twins – one healthy and one fighting for life.
On May 7th, 2015, our daughter Carly and her husband Misha delighted us with the birth of our first precious grandchild.
Last December we were about to head out of town to visit my husband’s family for the holidays when I got some of the worst news any expectant mother could hear…
I was only 27 weeks pregnant. Still three months away from any thoughts of delivering my baby boy. But the doctors at BC Women’s discovered that he was in grave danger.
- While generous donors helped provide the life-saving equipment baby Finnegan needed, his worried parents also received unique family-centred care to help them through the crisis.
- Thanks to our generous donors, BC Women’s Newborn ICU had the technology needed to help baby Francis’s underdeveloped lungs mature and grow.
- Thanks to your support for the Recurrent Pregnancy Loss Program, Julie and Keith Kawa were finally able to welcome their precious little girl
When I was pregnant with my daughter Leni, doctors at BC Women’s discovered a large blood clot in my uterus. Suddenly, my pregnancy was considered high-risk.
- Thanks to you, Karen Hodge received the expert care she needed – from conception to delivery – to give birth to a healthy son.
- Donors to BC Women’s Newborn ICU like you, helped ensure Andrea’s babies had access the very highest level of specialized care at a time of medical crisis.
This past Christmas was a special one for Avery's family. Avery was born was full term, and with a normal birth, however she needed multiple surgeries, and to stay in the NICU for seven weeks to recover and become strong enough to go home.
- The night Cheryl first experienced labour pains followed a normal day. ‘Normal’ at that time, meant working a 12-hour shift, then going out for dinner with friends. An RN who works in child and adolescent psychiatry, Cheryl is no stranger to stressful situations. Perhaps this training and experience helped her keep her cool when she woke up at 3 a.m., experiencing strong cramps - she was just under 29 weeks pregnant with her first baby.
- When I got pregnant for the first time, I never imagined that I would have to wait five years to celebrate Mother's Day with our baby.
Although Savanna was a full-term baby, complications during labour and delivery put her fragile life at sudden and unexpected risk. Her shoulders got stuck (shoulder dystocia) during delivery, and she breathed in meconium, threatening her newborn lungs.
“We were told she was very sick and needed to be sent to BC Women's Hospital for specialized critical care,” says her mom, Michelle. “We were in total shock.”
- Thanks to you, moms and babies far from home receive the care they need at BC Women’s Newborn ICU.
Your gift helps make it possible for immigrant women to receive essential medical services at BC Women’s.
When Julie Vargas Gracia first moved to Canada, she was pregnant, alone and scared.
- Thanks to you, Adrien received the specialized care he needed to grow and thrive even before he was born
“If I passed you on the street,” she says, “you would have no idea. You wouldn’t know that I am on my way to the Oak Tree Clinic at BC Women’s Hospital. You wouldn’t know that I will always be one of their patients –and you wouldn’t know that without their program, my beautiful baby girl might have been born HIV positive, like her mom. Instead, she is perfectly healthy, HIV negative, just like my husband.”
Five years ago, thanks to a life based around exercise and healthy eating, she looked healthy and fit. She had no idea...
At 4am on July 24, 2013 my wife Erin was rushed into the delivery room. She tried to mask the pain with a smile and a few nervous jokes. She later told me if she wasn’t laughing, she would have been crying. Our baby’s heartbeat had gone down. They needed to get him out – fast. Erin delivered our baby by emergency cesarean section. He was born at only 25 weeks...
- Lilly was over the moon when she found out she was pregnant with identical twins. But, multiple births have the potential for complications and Lilly’s pregnancy was especially high-risk: a shared placenta had resulted in abnormal blood flow to the babies. The stakes could not have been higher...
- Look what Tamara Taggart's daughter Zoe is doing!
Little Zoe is taking after her mum by raising awareness and funds for a great cause! Instead of buying toys or treats with the proceeds from her awesome lemonade stand Zoe decided to donate them to help the babies cared for at BC Women's Newborn ICU. Thank you Zoe, you're amazing!
- Here is a letter from our patient Shannon Chung who delivered her oldest daughter Danica at BC Women's....
- Sebastian and Lilliana, and their cousin Maya came up with a brilliant idea on how to give back to Vancouver during their summer visit with Grandma and Grandpa George and Tamara Frankel.
It takes a "dream team" of doctors and nurses to save babies born months early before they're due.
Hy's mother Sara tells us about her beautiful little daughter Leni and their family's gratitude to the Newborn ICU.
"On June 22nd, my six-year-old son and I will be running and walking with our friends from the BC Women’s Baby Steps Team in The ScotiaBank Half Marathon in support of BC Women’s Newborn ICU."
- Donor-funded Jet Ventilator helped her survive a respiratory crisis.
The NICU at BC Women's is a very important place to my family and I. Almost 2 years ago, I unexpectedly delivered our twin boys at only 26 weeks gestation. Nikhil and Kai weighed only 2 lbs and 1.5 lbs respectively and were immediately brought to the NICU and placed on life support.
- Baby Herschel was born struggling for breath and fighting for his life. Today, thanks to you, he’s a happy, healthy one-year-old boy.
- When Sean Muggah and Mari Shimada discovered they were expecting twins, they were overjoyed. But at 19 weeks, joy suddenly gave way to crisis when it was discovered that Mari’s cervix was dilated, putting her unborn babies’ lives at risk.
- A letter form Barrett Brownlee whose daughter Alexandra, was born two months early. Baby Alexandra survived because of the care she received at BC Women's Hospital - now her mother Barrett is pregnant again...
- Nicole Tjorhom will never forget Valentine’s Day of 2007: “I was working as a Recreation and Aquatic Therapist. I was in the pool when suddenly I just couldn’t feel my foot.”
- As a father of three young kids and RCMP officer, Mike Byrne had always been an active guy. Suddenly, he didn’t feel like himself anymore. “I was losing my ‘oomph’ and I couldn’t understand why.” Mike explains. “I could barely make it home from work uphill on my bike.”
Here are the Top 5 images (and beautiful moments!) from our Instagram Father's Day photo contest - our winner will be announced on Monday!
Thank you all for submitting your amazing photos, and Happy Father's Day!
Rebecca and Samantha were born very premature; Rebecca was especially fragile. Lilly tells how a special ventilator in the hands of newborn care experts saved her little girl’s life.
- One grateful family says "thank you" to the Milk Bank for saving their son's life by giving back.
At birth he weighed barely one pound and was fighting for his life.
- “Our pregnancy was a very frightening time,” says Kelley Hishon, whose son Owen was born three months premature at BC Women’s Hospital.