Registered Nurse Ashley Green observes a central monitor in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Victoria General Hospital. “Our babies are on patient monitors every minute of every day. With these monitors, we can watch their vital signs closely.” Ashley cared for the Guglielmin family while they were in the NICU and remains in touch with the family.

Funding Vital Care at VGH: ‘Our kids are alive because of them’

Campaign aims to supply 40 essential pediatric patient monitors

In 2013, Lyndsay and Paul Guglielmin were excited to be expecting twins when a placental abruption caused labour to begin at only 26 weeks.

Lyndsay was Medi-Vac’d from Terrace to Victoria General Hospital (VGH), where the twins were delivered via emergency C-section and admitted immediately to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).

Over the ensuing weeks, young Cache would undergo four surgeries, and Eli, one.

With families and friends 11 hours away in Trail, the knowledge and understanding the VGH pediatric team shared were vital as the new parents negotiated those critical first days and weeks. “The faith we had in the staff there was just so important to us,” Lyndsay says.

While Cache faced health concerns during his first few years, today the twins are happy and healthy six-year-olds who also welcomed a younger brother, Brooks, three years ago.

You Are Vital: Helping the hospital team help others

Because of the incredible care the family received at VGH, the couple has donated to the Victoria Hospitals Foundation in honour of the NICU team through a Caring Spirit donation. The Caring Spirit program gives patients and families the chance to recognize a special caregiver, employee or entire team by making a donation in their name towards priority medical equipment.

“We owe Victoria General Hospital’s NICU team everything,” Lyndsay reflects. “We’re so grateful for everything our family received from the hospital. Our kids are alive because of them. They truly are our Caring Spirits.” To support that work, the Foundation’s You Are Vital: Pediatrics campaign aims to raise $1.8 million to fund 40 critical new monitors for life-saving neonatal and pediatric care at VGH.

“The monitors are so instrumental to the babies’ care,” Lyndsay says. “They’re the only way for the medical team to know when things aren’t right. The hardest work is done by the babies, but second only to that is the work of the nurses and doctors, and they need this essential equipment to do that.”

The referral centre for maternity and pediatrics on the Island, Victoria General Hospital accepts transfers from within the province. The facility has one of BC’s four high-level NICUs for critically ill newborns, and one of its two PICUs serving critically ill children

from birth to age 17. The teams care for young patients who may require life-support, special medications and one-to-one observation.

  • 98 per cent of pediatric cases on Vancouver Island can be treated at Victoria General Hospital.
  • More than 3,000 babies are born and 2,000 pediatric patients are cared for every year at Victoria General Hospital.
  • One in six newborns at Victoria General Hospital will spend time in the NICU, and one in eight pediatric patients will require care in the PICU.

The You Are Vital: Pediatrics campaign will equip the NICU and PICU with 36 patient monitors that monitor vital signs at the crib, bassinet or bedside, and four central monitors that give care teams a consolidated, centralized view of every patient’s current status.

Join the Guglielmin family and support pediatric care right here at home by contributing online at victoriahf.ca/vitalkids, calling 250-519-1750 or mailing to Wilson Block, 1952 Bay St., Victoria, V8R 1J8.

 

Lyndsay Guglielmin with baby Cache. At just 26 weeks pregnant, Lyndsay was Medi-Vac’d from Terrace to Victoria General Hospital, where the twins were delivered via emergency C-section and admitted immediately to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).

Paul Guglielmin with baby Cache in the NICU.

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