Victoria – Island Health’s tiniest and most fragile patients are getting a generous gift from a family who knows all too well the incredible health and care that’s provided to infants at Victoria General Hospital’s (VGH) Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).
Caitlin Brown and Cameron Bowler are the parents of 15-month old Quinton. Quinton was born at gestational week 33 with an omphalacele (a birth defect in which an infant's intestine or other abdominal organs are outside of the body because of a hole in the belly button.) He endured three surgeries and spent seven weeks in neonatal intensive care.
As Quinton became stronger and was approaching his first birthday, his parents wanted to commemorate this miraculous milestone with something more than presents and cake. They began collecting books and monetary donations to purchase books to establish a neonatal library at VGH. It will be a book gifting program called Little Warriors Library, named for the infants who often fight for their lives, facing significant health battles.
“We know how important early literacy to promote health for babies and encourage reading and language skills,” said Cameron Bowler, Little Warriors Library co-founder.
“As parents, we also feel powerful bonding moments with Quinton when we read to him,” added Caitlin Brown, Little Warriors Library co-founder. “Creating the library is a small token of our appreciation for the care we’ve received, and a way to support parents who are going through a very difficult time.”
VGH’s NICU is staffed by a highly specialized team of physicians, nurses, dietitians, psychologists, respiratory therapists, pharmacists and physiotherapists who work closely together to support infant health and care.
“We are so proud of our neonatal team who bring care and compassion to their vitally important work every day,” said Mark Blandford, VGH Clinical Director. “Our sincere thanks to Quinton’s family whose generous gift will help bring comfort and hope to infants and their parents/guardians who are fighting alongside their Little Warriors.”
VGH neonatal facts:
- There are 22 tertiary care beds where medical and surgical care is provided to vulnerable infants from Vancouver Island and across the province
- Approximately 530 infants are cared for on the unit each year
- The average stay in the unit is 15 days
Donations to the Little Warriors Library or toward vital equipment needs for the NICU can be made to the Victoria Hospitals Foundation at https://www.victoriahf.ca/donate/
Island Health Media contact:
Meribeth Burton at 250-519-1815
Victoria Hospitals Foundation Media contact:
Gaëlle van Erp at 250-886-2491
Background information Victoria General Hospital (VGH) Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and Victoria Hospital Foundation (VHF)