Celebrating generous gift on World Prematurity Day

Purchased three veinfinders for HSC Winnipeg NICU

Winnipeg MB (November 17, 2020) – Born early at 27 weeks old, weighing just over a pound, partially blind and experiencing congestive heart failure, Gianna Eusebio was rushed to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at HSC Winnipeg Children’s Hospital. Can you imagine trying to save the life of an infant the size and weight of a cell phone? The precision it would take to find their tiny veins to run an IV or take blood?

Thanks to a $23,748 grant to Children’s Hospital Foundation by the Sandra Schmirler Foundation, the tiniest, most fragile babies in Manitoba – babies like Gianna – will get that precise, lifesaving IV treatment more quickly and with less discomfort.

A veinfinder helps doctors and nurses see veins clearly prior to starting an IV or central line, providing a better chance to access the veins on the first try.

“When caring for a premature baby, time is of the essence,” says Dr. Michael Narvey, section head, Neonatology, HSC Winnipeg. “By holding the veinfinder a few inches above the baby’s skin, we can quickly see and find the baby’s vein and get life-saving IV treatment to them without the additional hassle or trauma of repeated tries. This is an important tool for babies and their care teams.”

Since its inception, the Sandra Schmirler Foundation has provided grants of more than $200,000 to Children’s Hospital Foundation.

“Our mission is to raise funds to purchase life-saving equipment for premature and critically ill newborns to give them each the chance to grow up and be a champion, like Sandra,” said Cathy Overton-Clapham, world champion curler and director, Sandra Schmirler Foundation. “We are proud to help the NICU team support these babies and families in Manitoba.”

Now 12 years old, Gianna represented Children’s Hospital Foundation as its Champion Child in 2019, and raised $14,000 for the NICU that saved her life.

“Today, I can see with glasses, I use an inhaler to open my lungs to breathe and my mom says I have fire running through my veins,” says Gianna. “I owe my life to the Children’s Hospital and the people who support it. I know I am a miracle.”

“We are incredibly grateful for the support of partners like the Sandra Schmirler Foundation and our shared commitment to helping the sickest children,” said Stefano Grande, president and CEO, Children’s Hospital Foundation. “When communities come together to help the most vulnerable children and improve the health of kids everywhere, we can make anything possible.”

In addition to equipment like veinfinders, donors to Children’s Hospital Foundation support families and babies in NICU through ongoing initiatives like the reading program and the Veteran Parents Program. To learn more about how you can help sick and injured children, visit goodbear.ca.

November 17 is World Prematurity Day. More than 30,000 babies are born prematurely in Canada every year.

The new NICU at HSC Winnipeg opened December 1, 2019 in HSC Winnipeg Women’s Hospital. Bringing together three units from different buildings on the HSC campus, it is a state-of-the-art 60-bed, multi-acuity unit including the only Level III (most acute care) beds in the province, and cares for more than 1,400 of the sickest newborns from across Manitoba, Northwestern Ontario and Nunavut every year.

About Children’s Hospital Foundation of Manitoba

The Children’s Hospital Foundation of Manitoba is dedicated to ensuring that every child treated at the HSC Winnipeg Children’s Hospital receives the best medical care possible.

Since 1971, with incredible donor support, the Foundation has raised more than $100 million to improve the lives of sick and injured children from Manitoba, Northwestern Ontario, and Nunavut. Funding supports important programs that bring comfort to sick children during difficult times, the purchase of life-saving equipment, and the advancement of pediatric health research that will improve the lives of children everywhere. Learn more about ways to help at goodbear.ca.

About Sandra Schmirler Foundation

The Sandra Schmirler Foundation sees a future where every hospital NICU has the necessary life-saving equipment to handle any emergency and save the lives of babies born premature and critically ill. Our dream is that all babies born too soon, too small or too sick will be cared for in a NICU equipped with state of the art life-saving equipment close to their homes, family and friends. With support from individuals like you, we have given over 4.9 million dollars to fund life-saving equipment in NICUs in hospitals across Canada.

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