From June 23, 2019 to 11:59PM Thursday, June 27, the CIBC Wood Gundy’s O’Brien Investment Group will match all gifts up to $40,000 so that, together, you can purchase two patient monitors for the VGH PICU. Make a gift today and double your impact

Every one of our donors has a story. And we know that every donation is a choice a decision to support our hospitals and change the lives of our patients.

As we profile the excellence of our Pediatrics program at Victoria General Hospital (VGH) through our latest campaign, You Are Vital: Pediatrics, we highlight the vital role our donors play in ensuring our hospital stays at the forefront of newborn and child care.

Our donors are extraordinary. They support the brilliant work our care teams provide. They let us purchase equipment sooner and more often, ensuring leading-edge care for patients across Vancouver Island. They invest in the talents of our care teams to help attract and retain the best and brightest. 80% of the equipment purchased in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) and 62% of equipment in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) over the past five years was funded by our generous donors.

Today, we share with you one donor story among many, and the why behind their giving:

Every year, on the first Wednesday of December, Jake Brumby and team, Steven Lobb and team, Bruce Courtnall, and the O’Brien Investment Group at CIBC Wood Gundy do something they look forward to all year: as part of CIBC Miracle Day, the group donates their fees and commissions to help kids in need. They elected to support our local pediatrics care teams and the thousands of patients they serve. Since 2016 these groups from CIBC Wood Gundy have donated over $275,000 to help kids at Royal Jubilee Hospital and VGH.

One of the teams in the group, the O’Brien Investment Group, has been donating to a cause near and dear to their hearts — the NICU and PICU at VGH.

“Our family giving to the NICU and PICU really started when my sister, Rebecca, and I started having children,” says Jessica O’Brien Cameron, Associate Investment Advisor for the O’Brien Investment Group.

Her father, Michael O’Brien, is the Senior Portfolio Manager for the group, and her sister Rebecca is a Client Associate. “Becoming parents made us realize how much we wanted to help. We both had children at VGH, thankfully with no complications, but we saw the babies and parents in the NICU at VGH, and just how scary of a time it was for them. We knew we wanted to help,” says Jessica.

But this wasn’t the family’s first experience with the pediatrics team at VGH. When Jessica was five, she suffered a severe asthma attack and was admitted to the PICU at VGH.

The VGH PICU, which is one of only two in the province, provides intensive care for children age 0-17 with severe cardiac and respiratory complications, infections, or those involved in tragic accidents. Every year, 1 in 8 pediatric patients at VGH spends time in the PICU.

While Jessica spent only a few days in the PICU 30 years ago, she still remembers feeling comforted by the care team of the PICU. “I remember feeling very ill, but what mostly stands out are good memories,” Jessica recalls. “I remember the doctors, my dad carrying me up in the elevator; those are memories that stand out. I think it’s really important for kids to have the best experience they can during some of the worst experiences of their life.”

That’s where our donors come in. Because of community members like the O’Brien Investment Group and the teams at CIBC Wood Gundy, our care teams have access to more advanced equipment that supports them as they continue to deliver the highest possible care for our children.

In 2016, the O’Brien Investment Group voted to direct their Miracle Day donation to the NICU at VGH, the only high-level NICU on Vancouver Island and one of only four in the province.

“What surprised me most was the need,” says Michael of the team’s decision to donate to VGH. “I didn’t realize it, but it is so important to know that there is a need, and to be able to do our best to meet those needs.” Jessica and Michael shared this urgent need with other advisors in the Wood Gundy office, and they were joined by Jake Brumby and team, Steven Lobb and team, and, in 2017, Bruce Courtnall in their generous giving to the Victoria Hospitals Foundation.

The team’s gift in 2016 funded an urgently needed incubator for the NICU, a piece of equipment used to stabilize environmental conditions for newborns. These little patients are very fragile and extremely sensitive; this incubator provides a stable, soothing environment for the baby to recover and grow. In July 2017, the team was taken on a tour through the NICU to see this vital piece of equipment at work. “Seeing that little baby in the incubator is something I’ll never forget,” shares Jessica. “We saw the impact donations can have. It really makes a difference.”

With the gifts directed from CIBC Miracle Day, the O’Brien Investment Group continued to do just that. Their donations from Miracle Day in 2017 funded two ventilators for the PICU at VGH, to provide young patients with vital respiratory support. Every year, 250 kids spend time in the PICU.

When the team came by VGH for a second time to see these ventilators at work, they were stopped in the unit by a grateful father, who thanked them for their generosity. His daughter had been admitted into the hospital multiple times, and the ventilator had saved her life many times. It was a moment the O’Brien family will never forget.

“It’s not about us. It’s about them — these precious kids and their families,” Jessica says.

In 2018, the team generously funded the purchase of an infant warmer for the PICU.

Through both their personal experience and their generous giving to the Victoria Hospitals Foundation, the O’Brien Investment Group knows the importance of funding crucial equipment needed by our community. Especially for the NICU and PICU.

These vital Units and their care teams are being profiled through the Victoria Hospitals Foundation’s current campaign, You Are Vital: Pediatrics. The campaign aims to raise $1.8 million to address the critical need to fund 40 new monitors for life-saving neonatal and pediatric care at Victoria General Hospital.

Every single one of us in the City of Victoria probably has had an experience or interface at VGH,” Jessica says. “I have so many memories at the hospital. My grandparents were there before they passed away, I had two children there. I was there when I was a kid, my mother and father were treated there; everyone we know has been there. We want the best care, the best equipment, and the best doctors. We know giving makes us better and the need for equipment will never stop. This is the way we can help.”

Join the O’Brien Investment Group and CIBC Wood Gundy teams in supporting pediatric care right here at home.

Donate before 11:59PM on June 27 to double your impact: the CIBC Wood Gundy’s O’Brien Investment Group will match all gifts up to $40,000 so that, together, you can purchase two patient monitors for the VGH PICU.

Help us raise $1.8 million to fund 40 critically-needed monitors for the VGH NICU and PICU. You too can make a difference.

For more information on the You Are Vital: Pediatrics campaign, and to support our VGH neonatal and pediatric care teams so that more Vancouver Island children can survive and thrive, please visit www.victoriahf.ca/vitalkids

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