Meet Kaitlynn

“I cried many tears, but I look at my daughter and she is the strongest person I know.”

For the first 12 hours of their baby girl’s life, Kaitlynn Swain’s parents did little but gaze in delight at their beautiful daughter. As all parents of a newborn do.

By dinner time that day though, while still at Brandon Hospital, they noticed Kaitlynn had started moaning and wheezing. Within hours she had turned blue. Nurses rushed her to the NICU.

While the pediatricians in the NICU examined their baby girl, mom Kayla and dad Adrian waited anxiously to hear what was wrong.

Soon, a doctor briefed them that the baby’s little heart seemed to be working harder than it needed to. He was concerned that she may have been born with a heart condition. The doctor then told them that he had called the specialists at Children’s Hospital.

Our regional hospitals throughout Manitoba are wonderful places, staffed by dedicated and talented health care professionals. But when an infant or a child is critically ill – like Kaitlynn was – we are so very fortunate to have Children’s Hospital. And we couldn’t help so many children across our province without donors like you.

By 2AM, a team of neo-natal specialists from Children’s Hospital arrived at the hospital in Brandon. They realized that there was air circulating outside of Kaitlynn’s lungs, and decided she needed a rapid transfer to Winnipeg.

Once you’ve read Kaitlynn’s story – and see what a life-saving difference your support makes – I hope you’ll consider supporting us with a special gift today. You see, our Emergency Transport Team urgently needs a new power stretcher to transport babies in incubators during emergencies like this one.

At 5:30AM Kayla climbed aboard the plane bound for Winnipeg with her baby, while Adrian went home to care for their two-year-old son. Kayla vividly remembers every moment that followed:

“At Children’s Hospital, Dr. Molly Sesha – an amazing doctor – looked at me and said, ‘Everything will be okay. It will take time, but she will be okay.’ I went back to my room and I cried.

For the first week I couldn’t even hold Kaitlynn – that was the hardest thing I have ever endured. Every one of her limbs was hooked to something.

But the nurses were amazing! They updated me on everything. They would tell me to go rest and eat. They took care of me as well. They even found me a place to stay close to Kaitlynn.”

Kaitlynn was diagnosed with a condition called  pneumothorax – meaning that she developed a hole in her lung the very second she first cried.

So many people worked together to save Kaitlynn’s life. Her parents who first noticed that something was wrong. The night nurse who raised the alarm. The doctor in Brandon, who made the life-saving call to Children’s Hospital. The Emergency Transport Team. And the doctors and nurses at Children’s Hospital, who worked over Kaitlynn so carefully and diligently.

But there was someone else there at Kaitlynn’s side, too. That was you. With every piece of equipment you fund, with every researcher you support – you help save a child just like Kaitlynn. There will never be words enough to thank you.

I am happy to report that Kaitlynn is a year old now and doing well. She loves bath time, swimming, and – most of all – her older brother. She continues to be checked-on by the team at Children’s Hospital and her doctors in Brandon, but she’s having a normal and happy childhood, thanks to you.

Please, if you are able to, consider making a special donation today to help our Emergency Transport Team purchase the specialized power stretcher that newborns like Kaitlynn need. $5, $25, or $100 – any amount will help. Because one thing I know – tonight, tomorrow or a few days from now, there will be another baby who needs us.