Saving Savanna

May 12 2017 12:17pm
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.”

Within an hour, the Infant Transport Team arrived at the hospital to transfer Savanna, now clinging to life, to BC Women’s Hospital’s Newborn ICU.

“That first night we almost lost her,” says Michelle. “She had multi-organ failure and needed many blood transfusions.”

A CT scan also showed spots in Savanna’s brain, which doctors hoped would heal if they could stabilize her condition. To help that healing, she was placed on a ventilator and then put into an induced coma for over a week. Michelle didn't get to hold her baby for 10 agonizing days.

“After she was taken off the ventilator and could breathe on her own, she was slowly taken out of her coma and she opened her eyes,” says Michelle. “Every single day after that we saw improvement. We knew she would come home.”

Savanna was in the Newborn ICU for six weeks, where a team of top specialists helped her recover and ultimately return to her family.

“You never think about these things happening until you actually go through them,” says a grateful Michelle. “If we hadn’t had BC Women’s Newborn ICU and the amazing doctors and nurses, Savanna wouldn’t be here – running, singing and laughing.”

Michelle and her husband, Mike, knew they wanted to do something to thank BC Women’s Hospital so, with the support of friends and family, they hosted a fundraising dinner at Coquitlam’s Sokela Restaurant. Together, they raised more than $8,000 for the Newborn ICU – funds that will help ensure critically ill babies from across BC continue to receive the highest level of life-saving care – just like Savanna.

This year, Savanna's family has decided to support the BC Women's Newborn ICU once again - through the Scotiabank Charity Challenge on June 28th. Michelle will be running with the goal of raising $1,500 for this worthy cause. 

Support Team Savanna in the Scotiabank Charity Challenge!