No parent wants to see their child in the hospital, never mind seeing them in the neonatal intensive care unit for the first 125 days of their life.
“Watching our baby boy fight for his life in those early, critical days definitely changed who we are,” says Kayla Gough, mother of Liam Gough, who was born 14 weeks premature.
Kayla’s pregnancy had been relatively normal, with doctors saying Liam was growing regularly. But about 26 weeks into her pregnancy, Kayla experienced abdominal pains and was admitted to HSC’s Women’s Hospital with threatened pre-term labour.
“We were incredibly scared. I wasn’t prepared to have this baby so early. Our biggest concern was of our unborn son’s health.”
Kayla went into labour, and soon Liam was born. Liam was quickly moved to the NICU in Children’s Hospital to be monitored by neonatal care physicians, nurses and specialists for the first four months of his life.
Kayla and her husband Kyle said they felt supported by the incredible staff at Children’s from the very beginning of Liam’s stay.
“I remember on several particularly tough days, the nurses were there – consoling me, reassuring me, and crying with me. We never felt alone,” she said.
Kayla is grateful for the incredible team who helped them during Liam’s time in the in the Children’s Hospital NICU, including the Family Support Coordinator.
“There were so many incredible care providers involved in Liam’s journey,” says Kayla. “They went above and beyond to make us feel supported.”
After 125 days, Liam was able to go home with his parents. Now, the one-year-old is a happy, healthy, and vibrant child who is meeting his developmental milestones and, most importantly, enjoying life at home.
Liam is surrounded by music and love as Kyle sings and plays guitar for him daily. Both sets of Liam’s grandparents take every opportunity to spend time with and love him.
Liam will continue to be followed closely by pediatric ear, nose, and throat doctors at Children’s as he still has some ongoing airway issues to resolve. However, the path ahead looks excitingly clear for Liam.
“Liam’s start in life does not define him, but it is certainly a huge part of his story,” says Kayla.
For Kayla and Kyle, the time spent with Liam and the staff in the NICU has helped shape them as parents. For their family, so much of what they went through was challenging, but Kayla says there were beautiful and positive moments.
“The relationships we built, the love we felt, our family is so grateful for all of it,” she said.
HSC Children’s was Liam’s first home. His life started there, so it will always be near to the hearts of everyone in their family. Kayla says the level of care they received and the support for families are crucial.
“Supporting Children’s Hospital means helping families in need – you never know if and when your family may need to access the services and care of Children’s Hospital.”
Kayla says a gift to the Children’s Hospital is the most meaningful donation you can make, and it makes all the difference in the world for families like theirs.
Help kids like Liam get the urgent care they need. Donate today.
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