Give the greatest gift to new parents and infants at the Hospital

Give the greatest gift to new parents and infants at the Hospital

Give the greatest gift to new parents and infants at the Hospital

Spending the holidays in the Hospital is always hard, but it can feel especially challenging for the families of some of our youngest and smallest patients. Every year, Grand River Hospital's neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) cares for around 900 babies who need additional support. And, this holiday season, you have the chance to give the greatest gift of all: peace of mind for expectant parents when their new little bundle of joy needs extra care.

This year, Grand River Hospital's NICU is celebrating 20 years of service as a neonatal intensive care unit. But, in its humble beginnings as a special care nursery, both the way we provided care and the patients we cared for looked a little different.

Today, our NICU offers 22 beds and the ability to manage more complex and acute cases right here at home. But Dr. Ian Wilson, a pediatrician who has been at Grand River Hospital since 1988, still remembers the small six-bed NICU on the ninth floor of the KW Campus and appreciates what a long way we have come since that time.

“The NICU at Grand River Hospital provides a very advanced level of care that has progressed through the last three decades at light speed,” says Dr. Wilson. “It is staffed by excellent nurses and pediatricians who have 'cut their teeth' at the various tertiary level care centres.”

While technology and clinical practice have evolved greatly over the past 20 years, it’s also the care and connection provided by the incredible NICU team to their patients and families that contribute to everyone’s healing journey.

“The staff and medical team have been absolutely amazing,” says Carli, whose daughter Leo was born prematurely and is currently in the NICU. “I’m a person who likes to ask a lot of questions, and this is also my first child. The team has been absolutely amazing and attentive to both me and my daughter the entire time, taking care of her [and] me as well. I spend every day here and that can be hard. But the team makes the space so welcoming. I know when I come in I’m going to see smiling faces, they’re giving you positive updates about your baby, and it’s been really great considering the circumstances.”

Deepthi, also a first-time mom whose son, Sriniket, is currently in NICU, shares a similar experience after giving birth at 30 weeks. “I honestly couldn’t have done this without the team. Everyone here has been so positive…he’s literally friends with everyone,” Deepthi jokes about her son. “I am friends with everybody, too. I know so many nurses and they’re all so caring and kind and encouraging that everything is going to be okay. I am okay because of them and he is okay because of them. He is now 35 weeks and breathing and feeding on his own and we should be able to go home in a few weeks.”

Carli and Deepthi’s experiences are just two out of thousands of families who have been cared for by the NICU team in the last 20 years. And as we look back and celebrate all of the progress we've made and the milestones we've reached, we’re also looking ahead to what’s to come.

Supporters, like you, have played a critical role in helping us enhance care over the past 20 years, and patients and families are counting on you to help us continue to advance our NICU. This holiday, you can help us cross some important and urgent needs off our NICU’s list. Your gift could help fund vital equipment like an incubator, ensuring we have one more space to care for an infant in need. Or it could ensure parents have access to postpartum suites, eliminating travel and keeping parents in the hospital near their NICU child.

Every parent knows that, despite all of their planning and preparation, things don’t always go as planned. And when families find themselves navigating a less-than-simple start to what, for many, was supposed to be the happiest day of their lives, your generosity helps ensure the NICU at Grand River Hospital is ready to welcome and support them.

Donate in support of NICU patients and families, and give them the gift of exceptional care close to home this holiday season.