To say Ruby Werrett is a miracle child is not an overstatement.
It was made possible by Regina’s health-care system, starting with the Maternal Fetal Medicine unit in Regina’s General Hospital, where doctors helped her parents get pregnant after years of trying unsuccessfully.
“Once we realized this is not going to happen naturally for us, we were able to find some great solutions in Regina,” says Rachel Werrett, Ruby’s mom.
Rachel and her husband Brin's dream of becoming parents came true after Ruby was conceived through intrauterine insemination, a relatively inexpensive option available in Regina. As Rachel’s pregnancy progressed, so did her relationship through the hospital. She received support for gestational diabetes and visited Labour and Delivery almost every day for a week before being induced.
Ruby was born via C-section in June 2014, just one day before her due date. At first, everything seemed normal. Family came to visit the happy new family as they recovered in hospital. But Ruby had been choking regularly since birth. A nurse took Ruby to the Special Care Nursery to suction her, leaving the first-time parents to rest. When the nurse attempted to insert the tube all the way into Ruby’s stomach, it wouldn’t go down.
“She called a code in the nursery and Ruby was swept to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU),” Rachel remembers. "We were waiting for her to come back and we suddenly had a team of doctors in our room saying, ‘Your baby has been admitted to NICU and she needs an operation.’”
It turned out Ruby needed surgery to attach her esophagus properly. Following the surgery, she was put into a medically-induced coma so she could heal properly.
“It was tough because she was a full-term baby – huge compared to other NICU babies. The entire time we were on the critical side of the NICU, we weren’t allowed to touch her,” explained Rachel.
After 17 days, Ruby was released from the NICU. But her need for care didn’t end. She spent two years in the Development Assessment Clinic, a program at RGH for NICU graduates. Ruby’s development was monitored at the Pediatric Outpatient Clinic, where she received care from nutritionists, physiotherapists and occupational therapists.
“We were able to meet with that entire team of specialists who were dedicated and truly cared about how Ruby was surviving and thriving,” says Rachel.
“Our family is forever grateful to all those services and all the care that Regina General Hospital provided for us. We wouldn’t be a family if it wasn’t for them, plain and simple.”
“It is so important that Regina’s hospitals have the best resources available to support babies, children and their families through the most unimaginable battles,” Dino Sophocleous, president and CEO, Hospitals of Regina Foundation. “It is vital we invest in quality care and the best technology available for children in southern Saskatchewan, today and in the future.”
Ruby's story appears in our 2018 Annual Report. Watch for it right here
after May 1, 2019.