Supported through a family crisis

Topics: British Columbia and Yukon, Community Health
July 25, 2013

The Red Cross Family Support Program delivered in British Columbia provides emotional and practical support for parents and caregivers in times of crisis. At the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) we make a tremendous difference in the lives of many, including Krystal and Liam.

Liam was born with holes in his heart, hypertension and small lungs. From the moment he arrived, he was fighting for survival. Weighing just over seven pounds, his tiny lungs were struggling for air and his body fighting for survival.

It took a team of doctors and nurses seven hours to stabilize little Liam before he could be transferred from Prince George to the NICU in Vancouver. Krystal accompanied him, leaving her husband and two-year-old son at home.

Without her husband, life in the hospital was tough for Krystal but Red Cross volunteers were by her side. She can’t express her gratitude for the Family Support Program volunteers who made her life at the hospital easier to bear. Throughout the time that Krystal was alone at the hospital, the volunteers would watch over Liam if there were no nurses available.

“Often times they brought treats like coffee cards, grocery gift cards or movie passes. Every little bit helped! Though a grocery gift card may seem like a small token, it was so greatly appreciated, relieving stress and making it easier. It`s hard when you`re away from home, you don`t realize how much the little things add up and how much help it is to receive support of any kind. The Red Cross volunteers were great.” says Krystal.

When Krystal had difficulty obtaining the machinery Liam needed to continue his recovery at home, the Red Cross lent all of the necessary machinery and equipment through our Children’s Medical Equipment Loans Program.

“The equipment loan was a huge financial relief. We are so thankful for the generosity of the Red Cross volunteers and programs,” says Krystal.