“They treated our baby like he was their son and us like we were family.”
That’s how Genevieve Beaudreuil describes the care she, her husband Stanley, and their newborn son, Darryl, received when she delivered Darryl nine weeks premature this past summer.
Genevieve began to feel unwell on July 17. At 31 weeks pregnant with her first child, Genevieve and Stanley did not want to take any chances, so they made the quick trip down the road from their home to The Scarborough Hospital’s (TSH) General campus. Two days later on July 19, little Darryl was born at just three pounds.
Darryl stayed in TSH’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) for six weeks and Genevieve was in the hospital for nearly a week. During that time, Genevieve admits that the physicians and staff “took really good care of Darryl and me too.”
“They taught us everything we needed to know for when we took Darryl home,” she said. Darryl is now nearly four months old and is a happy and healthy baby.
TSH’s two NICUs care for more than 370 infants each year. Babies like Darryl and their families receive specialized care from an interprofessional team, including physicians, nurses, occupational therapists, social workers, respiratory therapists, and lactation consultants.
Globally, one in 10 babies is born premature. Although many go on to thrive like Darryl, others can have lifelong health problems, such as cerebral palsy, vision and hearing loss, and intellectual disabilities.
On Thursday, November 17, TSH will recognize World Prematurity Day to help bring awareness to initiatives to address preterm birth. World Prematurity Day was started in 2008 by the European Foundation for the Care of Newborn Infants (EFCNI). Countless individuals and organizations from more than 100 countries now participate with activities and special events. At TSH, nurses who work in the NICUs will be wearing purple – the colour associated with World Prematurity Day – and staff, patients, and visitors will receive special “Preemie Power” pins.
Everyone can also join the conversation online by using the hashtag #WorldPrematurityDay.
More information on TSH’s NICU’s can be found on the hospital’s website.