When Cassidy Karpan decides she’s ready to do something, there’s probably not much point trying to talk her out of it. At least that was the case on August 13, 2017, when Cassidy, the first child of Stephanie Karpan and her husband Brad, decided to make an early arrival.
“We were due to go on holidays in a few days,” Stephanie explains. “However, my water broke that weekend. We rushed to the hospital, and Cassidy was born a few hours later. I guess she was just really eager to meet us!”
Due to her early arrival, Cassidy was undersized – weighing only three pounds and 14 ounces. Fortunately, she had a top-notch medical team at the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at the Rawlco Centre for Mother Baby Care at Regina’s General Hospital (RGH) looking after her. Because her lungs weren’t fully developed yet, she had to be intubated and put on a feeding tube. After about 24 hours, the breathing tube came out, and the tiny infant was able to breathe with the help of a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine. CPAP delivered constant air pressure into Cassidy’s nose, which helped the air sacs in her lungs stay open and prevented apnea, a condition where a baby stops breathing.
Before long, Cassidy was able to breathe and feed on her own. After 23 days in the hospital, she was deemed strong enough to go home with her parents.
“We’re just so grateful for the staff in the NICU, and for all the tools and technology they have to help them save baby’s lives,” Stephanie explains. “It’s comforting to know they have the resources they need to handle any situation that comes up. And to have the NICU right here in Regina is huge. Having the support of family and friends close by, rather than having to travel to another city, or out of province, makes a big difference.”
Today, Cassidy is looking forward to her fourth birthday, and is a healthy and happy youngster. She’s also a big sister to two-year-old Mia, and has taken on that role with great enthusiasm! Aside from regular check-ups, she hasn’t been back to the hospital, and has shown no lasting effects from her time in the NICU.
“It’s so rewarding to hear how children like Cassidy are thriving after their experience in the NICU,” says Lisa Green, senior vice president, Hospitals of Regina Foundation. “Stories like Cassidy’s remind us of the importance of ensuring our NICU is equipped with the best technology, in order to give children across southern Saskatchewan the best possible chance at overcoming their early health challenges and leading healthy, happy lives.”