Click here to hear Lucy’s story as told by her parents.
It was a blizzard that night in Churchill.
And baby Lucy, born at just 23 weeks, needed to be rushed to Winnipeg.
A medical team prepared to fly Lucy through the storm to Children’s Hospital in Winnipeg. And for a few precious moments, Lucy’s mom Cynthia held her baby close.
Despite the urgency, nobody rushed her. Everybody silently knew that the tiny baby might not survive the flight. And that these cherished moments may be the only ones Cynthia would ever have to hold her daughter.
These moments needed to last a lifetime.
After a healthy pregnancy, Cynthia went into labour at only 23 weeks. Within hours, she had delivered her baby at the small, remote health centre in Churchill.
The staff there were amazing. Doctors, nurses, lab techs. Everyone came racing into the centre to try to help.
But when baby Lucy was born, she weighed just over 1 pound. Her daddy’s fingertip was bigger than her whole hand. And so, one of the first things the medical team did was to call on our team of neonatal specialists here at Children’s.
Our Dr. Ganesh Srinivasan was on call that night. By speaker phone, ‘Dr. G’ guided Lucy’s dad Ian – who is one of three doctors at the health centre in Churchill – through the resuscitation efforts until he got Lucy breathing. Then he dispatched our transport team from Winnipeg to pick up Lucy and bring her to Children’s Hospital.
Because Lucy was so small and fragile, it took our team awhile to prepare her to be transported safely by plane. They knew that if there was the slightest turbulence, her breathing tube could dislodge. While they worked to ensure baby Lucy’s safety, Cynthia held their baby close.
“This was one of the first moments where we really sensed and valued the humane and caring staff at Children’s Hospital,” Ian remembers. “It was the nurse and respiratory therapist who offered Cynthia the chance to hold our baby. They knew it would help reassure the baby and calm her down before the flight. And – if she did not survive the flight, at least Cynthia would have had a chance to hold her.”
Baby Lucy did survive the flight. The next morning, they met Dr. G. in person. It was a hugely emotional moment meeting the man who had helped save their tiny daughter, over the phone.
Dr. G and the incredible team at Children’s cared vigilantly for Lucy for nearly four months. And their compassion and humanity never wavered.
“I was amazed at how many people work in that unit. They didn’t just care for Lucy – they cared for us. Our daughter would not have survived without the expertise at Children’s Hospital – and without the specialized equipment that Lucy needed.”
You can imagine the kind of special equipment it takes to keep a baby as small as Lucy alive.
Babies like Lucy cannot breathe on their own – sometimes for weeks. We have a specialized ventilator that gives newborns frequent tiny little breaths instead of blasting their lungs with air. The one used for Lucy was shipped in from another province. We are in urgent need of another ventilator to help more babies like Lucy.
Will you make a special holiday donation today, to help us buy two new High Frequency Jet Ventilators for our NICU? Each one costs $46,932.
A generous donor has offered to match all donations up to $100,000 if made before December 31st. That means your gift today will be doubled in value. Your gift of $100 becomes $200. Your donation of $50 will become $100 and your $25 becomes $50. Simply put – you will save more lives.
Your faithful support means to everybody here – and how grateful we are for any gift you can give.
“Thank you for giving our daughter the chance to live.”
Remember, every dollar you give will be doubled – meaning you will support more children who need us.
Click here to donate today!
The plane ride to Winnipeg with the Neo Natal Intensive Care Transport Team