Spirit of Giving

Feel Good Friday

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Carla Adams is a Manager of Marketing & Communications at the IWK Foundation.

Young Riley in his incubator in the NICU at the IWK Health Centre.

We often talk about how the IWK serves families from the Maritimes, “and beyond”.   It’s a little-known fact that several families from Bermuda are flown to the IWK each year; the majority of cases involve pre-term deliveries or high-risk pregnancies.

In July, I met a lovely couple from Bermuda, Densil and Jennell, who were anxious to return home with their baby, Riley, after a few weeks at the IWK.

Riley’s entry into the world was a rocky one.  At nearly 34 weeks, Jennell’s blood pressure sky–rocketed and she was sent to the hospital immediately by her family doctor in Bermuda.  The situation was urgent – Jennell was whisked to the operating room for an emergency C-section to save the baby.   Riley needed to be resuscitated and was put on a ventilator right away.

But the trauma didn’t end there.  As Jennell was being wheeled back to her room, she began having seizures and losing blood.   Her husband, Densil, didn’t realize it had happened.

Densil and Jennell look lovingly at their son.

“Densil returned to the ward with his overnight bag and saw the trail of blood leading back to the critical care room and they wouldn’t let him in and wouldn’t tell him anything,” said Jennell. “He was very afraid he was going to lose me.  When I came to, he was standing over my bed and told me very firmly, ‘Don’t ever do that to me again’.”

The next day, Jennell began seizing again.  She was taken back into surgery where doctors removed a hematoma and repair a torn muscle.

Just a day later, Densil and Riley were airlifted to the IWK – where Riley was treated by several Neonatologists.  Jennell spent a week recovering and then flew to Halifax to see her new baby.

All turned out well, and the family returned home to Bermuda.  “They made every effort to get us home before Cup Match [a national holiday centred around cricket, one of Bermuda’s most popular sports], said Jennell. “We’d like to say hello and thank you to the incredible nurses and doctors who took care of our son.”

Make a gift to the IWK Health Centre Foundation. 


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