Community Papers

New Year’s mom pays it forward in 2013

South Surrey’s Katy Lee – with husband George Tsai and sons Liam, 1, and Nathan, 3 – holds daughter, Katherine, who was Peace Arch Hospital’s first baby of 2013. - Alex Browne photo
South Surrey’s Katy Lee – with husband George Tsai and sons Liam, 1, and Nathan, 3 – holds daughter, Katherine, who was Peace Arch Hospital’s first baby of 2013.
— image credit: Alex Browne photo

South Surrey’s Katy Lee and her husband, George Tsai, had no idea they were going to be the parents of Peace Arch Hospital’s first baby of 2013.

As far as they knew, Katy was just going in to her doctor for a regular prenatal checkup on New Year’s Eve.

But when it was discovered that Lee was already fully dilated – without having experienced  any other warning signs – the decision was made to rush her to hospital and induce labour.

Baby Katherine appeared some 12 hours later, at 1:22 a.m., weighing seven pounds.

“She just decided she wanted to come out,”  said Katy on Friday morning.

“We were so lucky. It was just seven hours of contractions, one push and we were done.”

The arrival of Katherine has been an exciting addition to the family for her older brothers Nathan, three-and-a-half, and Liam, who is nearly two.

“They’re fighting to kiss her,” said Lee, a former teacher who has been a full-time mom since her first was born.

“Katherine is a real blessing” said George, who is director of his own digital signage company, Voodooframe.

He said the arrival of a healthy baby was a huge relief after a troubled pregnancy in which the appearance of spotting and a blood clot in Katy’s first ultrasound had led to fears she might lose the baby.

There were also concerns because Liam had been premature, the couple said.

But such fears, dispelled by further tests at BC Women’s Hospital, were long behind as Katy compared notes Friday with Tiffany Baldwin, and her daughter Ryan, the first baby of 2012 at Peace Arch Hospital.

Baldwin was there to deliver goods she had collected for the 2013 mom and baby, valued at close to $1,000, thanks to a Facebook page (, which gleaned donations from local individuals groups and merchants.

Baldwin wants the project to be a continuing “pay it forward” tradition – which Lee and Tsai, who formed their own non-profit foundation to help educate a victim of the 2011 Japanese earthquake, agreed is a great idea.

Tsai, who first came to B.C. from Taiwan with his family at the age of 14, graduated from Semiahmoo Secondary in 1995.

He met Katy, a friend of his sister-in-law, while on a business trip back to Taiwan some five years ago.

They spent the first year of their marriage backpacking extensively throughout Europe and Asia.

“We’re glad we did that then, before we settled down to have kids,” said Katy.

“That was the plan,” added George, who says that a family of five means they’ll be homebound for a while, they plan to do more travelling once the children are a little older.

Baby Katherine arrived just over 10 minutes before Surrey Memorial Hospital’s first arrival of 2013, Rory Martin Agnew, who weighed in at 8 lbs. 11 oz. at 1:37 a.m.

Mother Renee and father Peter, who live near No. 10 Highway and 152 Street, have one other son, Liam, now three-and-a-half.

Peace Arch Hospital and the Hospital Auxiliary presented Lee and Baby Katherine with flowers, a stuffed toy and baby clothes, plus hand-knitted toys and clothing.



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