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Victoria hospital campaign targets infant, pediatric care

Ayvrie Monghan, 1, snuggles a bear that is central to the social media aspect of the Victoria Hospitals Foundations
Ayvrie Monghan, 1, snuggles a bear that is central to the social media aspect of the Victoria Hospitals Foundations' latest equipment fundraising campaign, benefiting the neonatal and pediatric intensive care units.
— image credit: Photo by Sarah Broda

Some of the youngest patients at Victoria General Hospital will benefit from the latest fundraiser initiated by the Victoria Hospitals Foundation.

The campaign, for which a $310,000 goal has been set, aims to purchase a variety of equipment for the pediatric and neonatal care wards at VGH to improve the treatment given to babies and toddlers.

“The children we care for require complex, sophisticated treatment to get well and go home to their families,” Dr. Nisha Pillay, a neonatologist and medical lead with the hospital's neonatal follow-up clinic, said in a release.

The equipment includes three "open care" incubators that allow medical team members quick and efficient access to babies in the neonatal unit, a breathing ventilator for the pediatric intensive care unit, a portable ultrasound machine for the unit and a milk analyzer that will help premature infants in the neonatal ICU receive proper nutrition.

One-year-old Ayvrie Monaghan, who weighed just two pounds at birth and had underdeveloped respiratory and heart function, was among hundreds of sick children cared for in the neonatal and pediatric ICUs over the past year. Last month, a week after her first birthday, she was finally allowed to go home with her parents, Liz and William.

“April 14, 2014 was an amazing day for our family,” Liz said. “We dressed (Ayvrie) in a bright and cheery spring outfit, overjoyed to know she was finally healthy and strong enough leave the hospital and take her first breaths of fresh air."

The Victoria Hospitals Foundation campaign officially began yesterday, but social media efforts kick into high gear next week, focusing on a bear which had yet to be named at press time.

For every 10 "likes" received on the foundation's Facebook page, a bear will be donated to a child in the neonatal or pediatric ICU at VGH.

Donations can be made three ways: return the direct mail letter delivered to homes, call 250-519-1750 or visit victoriahf.ca. For more information, call the foundation at the number above or visit the website.

editor@goldstreamgazette.com

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