Extraordinary gifts to Island babies

The Victoria General Hospital Auxiliary has recently helped to raise more than $87,000 to purchase essential equipment for the hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). The funds have been directed toward the purchase of a cardiac ultrasound monitor and a blanket warmer that will directly improve treatment and patient care for infants who need specialized care.

This December, the Victoria Hospitals Foundation and Victoria General Hospital Auxiliary joined forces to help out Vancouver Island’s smallest and most fragile patients through the purchase of a blanket warmer. Through Poinsettias 4 Patients, the Auxiliary sold poinsettias and other holiday plants, raising more than $7,000 to purchase a blanket warmer for babies in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).

The blanket warmer heats receiving blankets to support the temperature regulation that is so critical to newborns in intensive care. Madison was one such baby. She was born at 32 weeks, weighing just 2.5 pounds and needing the specialized care of the NICU.

“With my baby being so small, I did worry about her being cold,” said Tiffany King, baby Madison’s mother. “The warm blankets were so comforting. It was some of the most beautiful time we had together. When her skin was next to mine and we were wrapped in warm blankets.” After four weeks in the NICU, Madison is now home with her family and growing stronger.

The Victoria General Hospital Auxiliary is a diverse group of volunteers dedicated to raising money to purchase equipment for Victoria General Hospital. Over the last two decades, they’ve raised more than two million dollars.

“We spend over $200,000 annually on important equipment for the hospital,” said Auxiliary President Val Smith. “We raise funds through bazaars, donations, and the all-volunteer gift shop on the concourse of the hospital. New members are always welcome!”

Because of the campaign’s great success, Poinsettias 4 Patients will be back again for the 2014 holiday season, helping ensure more babies like Madison receive the best possible care. For more information on the Victoria General Hospital Auxiliary, or to find out how to get involved, check out Island Health’s news release.