A preemie perseveres

Grateful for the expert neonatal care that helped her tiny preemie develop into a happy and smiley 19-month old, a mom writes a touching letter of thanks

April 3, 2015 is a day my family and I will never forget.  I woke up not feeling very well but with the busy life we had and being 26 weeks pregnant with our third child, I didn't think much of it. I was shocked when I started feeling contractions. I had delivered my other two with no complications and completely expected to do the same with this baby. He clearly had other plans and just 2 short hours after my arrival to the hospital closest to where we lived, Chase was born.

At 900 grams, he was just so tiny. I saw him briefly as the doctors prepared to intubate him and get him transferred to the Royal Victoria Hospital where he stayed for 3 weeks in preparation for his big move to the new Montreal Children's Hospital's Glen site. He was the third baby to be admitted to the new Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). The care and treatment he was given was just incredible.

Born so little, each day was a battle just to breathe. With determination and strength, Chase endured intubation twice, chronic lung disease, pneumonia, PICC lines, steroid injections, constant blood tests, many medications and so much more. His journey was a roller coaster ride of ups and downs and yet the dedication and support he received from his nurses, doctors, and respiratory therapists never wavered. These were people who not only took care of Chase but took care of us.

After a long 3 months in the NICU and 2 week stay on the inpatient floor, we were discharged with Chase still on 0.25 litres of oxygen. Today, our son is a very happy and smiley 19 month old. Though he may continue to have challenges due to his extreme prematurity, he continues to fight each day. He is our miracle and we will be forever grateful.

We had a lemonade stand this past summer and raised $100.00 for the NICU. We also have begun a new custom gift business where a portion of all our sales will be donated to the unit as well, to help them continue the wonderful work they do each day.

We hope to one day thank all these people in person. Until then, we hope whatever little bit we give back will help another family enjoy their little miracle as we do.

Thank you,
Joanna Zinman (Chase's mom)