Little Ayvrie was born prematurely at just 28 weeks. She needed immediate intensive care to nurture her tiny lungs and heart that could not work on their own. She spent the first year of her life with Dr. Amanda Barclay, Pediatric Intensivist, and Dr. Nisha Pillay, Neonatologist, at Victoria General Hospital, in both the Neonatal and Pediatric Intensive Care units. Her parents, Liz and Willie of Victoria, were grateful to have access to the high-level, leading-edge care and equipment their daughter needed right here at home. When children are critically ill, what matters is making them well again.
From Liz & Willie Monaghan
For the first year of her life, our Ayvrie never left Victoria General Hospital. On April 8, 2013 at just 28 weeks, baby Ayvrie came into this world weighing only 2 pounds. Before we even had a chance to hold her, she was transferred to the highest level of the hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. She was tiny, fragile and very sick with both her respiratory system and heart function underdeveloped. Our daughter would need intensive, life-saving care from a team of specialists to survive. We were beyond scared.
It broke our hearts to see our brand new little girl in an incubator, connected to dozens of wires, tubes and machines. There was very little we could do as parents to make things better for her — we were totally reliant on the nurses and doctors, with their expertise and sophisticated equipment, to keep Ayvrie alive.
After staying in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit for seven months, Ayvrie still could not breathe on her own. She was taken to Pediatric Intensive Care for another five months where she continued to receive the complex support she needed. We were so grateful to have this advanced level of care available close to home in Victoria. We can’t even imagine what travelling to another city would be like during this long and difficult process.
April 14, 2014 was an amazing day for our family. Less than a week after her first birthday, Ayvrie was ready to come home at last. We dressed her in a bright and cheery spring outfit, overjoyed to know she was finally healthy and strong enough to leave the hospital and take her first breaths of fresh air. Without the nurturing, healing environment of the Neonatal and Pediatric Intensive Care Units, this never would have been possible.
The nurses and doctors really felt like our extended family and we were completely overwhelmed by the love and care everyone showed to Ayvrie. She was in the best possible hands, growing strong and receiving the care she needed to thrive.
Through the Victoria Hospitals Foundation, you can support Neonatal and Pediatric Intensive Care at Victoria General Hospital. You can help babies and children, like Ayvrie, who need life-saving care to get well and go home to their families. We can tell you firsthand what a difference your support makes.
– Liz & Willie Monaghan, Victoria BC