The medical professionals who work in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Regina’s General Hospital are regularly called upon to perform some of the toughest, and most emotionally draining, tasks in the health care system. Their patients are quite often literally the tiniest of the tiny. In many cases, those little ones face life-threatening medical issues, and every moment counts. The complexity of the situation is literally doubled when dealing with twins.
That’s the scenario that unfolded earlier this year when twins Aurelia and Lexington were delivered by emergency C-section at the General Hospital at 33 weeks and three days.
“The doctors were hoping to delay the delivery by another couple of weeks, to give the girls’ lungs time to develop further,” said their mom Andrea Lee. “But I guess the girls had other ideas, because that plan only slowed them down by a couple of days. On the bright side, I was already on bed rest at the hospital, so there wasn’t far to go! My husband wasn’t feeling well and had gone home to get some rest, so he had to rush back at 3 a.m.”
The girls arrived on January 16, weighing 4.5 and five pounds respectively, and were quickly taken to the NICU for round-the-clock care. Their medical team then sat down with Andrea and her husband David to explain what to expect over the next several weeks, as the team worked to help the twins grow strong enough to be able to go home with their parents.
“We were so grateful that they took the time to explain everything to us and answer all of our questions,” Andrea said. “These were our first babies, and we had no previous experience with the NICU, so it was all brand new and a little bit frightening for us.”
Over the next four weeks, the girls were gradually weaned off the machines used to assist their breathing, and the feeding tubes that provided them with the nourishment their little bodies required. The medical team kept Andrea and David updated at every step along the way, until the girls were deemed ready to go home.
“I can’t say enough about the quality of the care we received,” Andrea said. “The doctors and nurses, and all the staff, clearly care passionately about the children, and the facility itself is top-notch. We’re very lucky to have that combination here in Regina. I honestly can’t imagine receiving better care for my girls or myself anywhere else. ”
“Aurelia and Lexington are two of the approximately 500 babies receiving treatment at Regina’s NICU each year,” said Dino Sophocleous, president and CEO Hospitals of Regina Foundation. “We’re proud to support the live-saving work being done there, and throughout our local health-care system.
Thanks to the philanthropic spirit of our community, we’re building a world-class pediatric health-care system in Regina that everyone in southern Saskatchewan can be proud to call their own.”