This summer, the IWK Health Centre Foundation was lucky enough to have Kristin Wilton come on board as an intern for a few months. We are so lucky she came to work with us. We cannot thank Kristin enough for all of her hard work, dedication and incredible positive attitude. Below is Kristin’s final blog on her time with the IWK Foundation – we’re glad to know she found it to be such a rewarding experience. Thank you for everything, Kristin!
After working with the team at the IWK Foundation over the past 16 weeks, I can honestly say this organization changed me as a whole. It changed my outlook on life and has certainly reassured me of my career choice to become a Public Relations practitioner. Being involved with the public, caregivers, patients, families and events really made me feel like I was doing PR. I’ve learned that a lot of things in the world of PR can be mastered by practice. The three words “practice makes perfect” helped me in so many ways, especially with my writing. The more you write, the more you learn, the better you will get.
My experience here at the Foundation has been incredible. One experience that had a major impact on me happened on my third day of work. My supervisor informed me that I would be attending a big announcement at the Health Centre. I didn’t think much of it until I arrived at the Health Centre and met these two twin little girls – Kendra and Kinsey, who were very premature or “micro-premie” babies born at 27 weeks. A normal pregnancy is 40 weeks so being this early resulted in them spending most of their stay in the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) on life support.As I followed a group of people down to a boardroom, hand in hand with Kendra, I sat in and watched the video of their life at the IWK. They were born at 1.8 lbs, each of them had five blood transfusions, one twin had 12 surgeries and the other had 13 and one of the girls had to have an emergency eye surgery. They spent nearly five months at the IWK experiencing liver failure and kidney failure.
As I was watching this video, I’m sitting there saying to myself “Kristin, keep it together. It’s your third day on the job. Do. Not. Cry.” But I couldn’t help it – I was completely filled up. My supervisor reassured me that each and every one of us that work in this organization has a moment like this.
After the video was over, we walked to the Gallery for the announcement – the IWK was receiving a donation of $1 million from Kent and Irving Shipbuilding. This donation will support a state-of-the-art Neonatal Intensive Care Unit as well as ground-breaking research in the treatment of childhood blood disorders and leukemia.
Following the announcement, five-year-old Kendra and Kinsey stood up on the podium and thanked Kent and Irving Shipbuilding for their donation as it will go towards helping children like them.
Today, Kendra and Kinsey are two thriving five-year-olds, and despite continuing health issues and regular visits to the IWK, they will grow up to live normal lives. I don’t think this would be possible without the remarkable caregivers at the IWK who helped this family get through this tough time.
It was the most touching thing I’ve ever witnessed in my life. It was events like this over the past 16 weeks that made me confident that the career path I’ve chosen is a perfect fit for me. Thanks to the IWK Foundation, working with this not-for-profit organization has opened my eyes and helped me discover my passion. It proved my passion for working with people, my love for children and my drive to help raise money for children and the world-class specialized care facility we all call the IWK Health Centre.