Dave and Audra knew that Baby Cole’s debut in the world wasn’t going to be a smooth one. A routine prenatal ultrasound revealed a complex heart defect that would require intervention when he was born.
Working with the specialists at both BC Children’s Hospital and KGH, Dave and Audra made plans to be at Children’s Hospital four weeks before he was due so that he could be delivered there, and the first of two surgeries could be performed immediately.
Cole had other plans. He arrived seven weeks early and had to be delivered at KGH.
At first Dave and Audra were concerned. KGH hadn’t been a part of their plan and they were unsure how this change would affect Cole.
Those concerns were short-lived.
“Everything was looking good, and sounding good, and everyone was knowledgeable, instantly it seemed,” recalls Dave. “The level of care Cole and Audra got was phenomenal.”
The nurses and doctors in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) kept Cole stable during those first critical days, allowing him to return home to his parents just four weeks after his premature arrival. He was six months old when surgeons at BC Children’s Hospital repaired his heart, and he’s now a rambunctious, healthy, happy little boy.
“I think it’s wonderful that KGH is working on getting a new NICU,” says Audra, “having been a part of that world, it makes me so happy to know they’ll be expanding…”
For Dave and Audra, the expert care they received at KGH made a big difference. With Cole in Kelowna, they could be with him day and night without having to juggle the complications and stress of relocating to Vancouver.
KGH’s NICU is Level 2B which means it can care for acutely ill and premature infants born as young as 30 weeks. The new, expanded Perinatal Unit will allow even more families to receive life-saving care closer to home, ensuring a future full of happy, healthy giggles.
Each year more than 1,600 babies are born at KGH with increasing numbers being born pre-term. The new NICU at KGH opened its doors to the community in March 2016 and with it, the most advanced perinatal unit in the Southern Interior region. The level 2B NICU can accommodate premature infants born as early as 30-weeks. The KGH Foundation’s Giving Giggles campaign set out to raise $3million to equip the new unit with the most advanced, state of the art equipment and patient care items in the country.
Thanks to the extraordinary generosity of donors and the community, the campaign is set to close this March 2017.