Even before she entered this world, little Kaci marched to the beat of her own drum. When the first child of Kim Johnson and Kal Robertson decided it was time to arrive on the scene, nobody was going to convince her otherwise.
A routine ultrasound at week 20 of her pregnancy discovered Kim had a shortened cervix, which required the cervix to be stitched up to prevent either a preterm birth or a miscarriage. Things went according to plan for about three weeks. Suddenly, Kim went into preterm labour at home in Kincaid, about two and a half hours from Regina. Kal and Kim jumped in his vehicle and raced down the highway towards Regina, making it as far as Moose Jaw.
They managed to stop the labour temporarily at the hospital in Moose Jaw before sending me on to the General Hospital in Regina by ambulance,” Kim explains. “In Regina. they stopped the labour completely and put me on bed rest at the hospital, hoping that would delay the baby’s arrival. It did but only for another 10 days.
Kaci was born on July 6, 2017 weighing less than two pounds. She was rushed to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at the Rawlco Centre for Mother Baby Care in critical condition. She was stabilized over the next few days, until doctors found a blockage in her bowels. That resulted in her first surgery - a quick bedside procedure to replace a drainage channel. A second, more complex surgery was required in September, which involved removal of scar tissue, an encapsulated stool in Kaci’s abdomen, and repairing a hole in her colon.
After that second surgery, it was night and day,” Kim said. “Kaci was happy, and she was happy to be fed (it had been painful for the tiny infant until then). I had a completely different baby. She was well on her way at that point.
Finally on October 17, after a 104-day stay in the NICU, Kaci was sent home. Other than a follow-up surgery for a hernia, she’s been a healthy and happy youngster ever since.
She’s amazing,” Kim gushes. “She’s growing, active and loving life. Kaci is pretty much a picture perfect baby, and we owe it all to the fantastic staff at the NICU and the state-of-the-art equipment they use to help children in need. We’re so grateful to Hospitals of Regina Foundation donors for making that possible.
“The medical team sat with me and comforted me, especially during that first surgery,” Kim continued. “They treated Kaci like she was one of their own children. They really are angels on earth.”
Dino Sophocleous, president and CEO Hospitals of Regina Foundation says, “stories like Kaci’s remind us of the importance of working to ensure local medical teams in Regina’s hospitals have access to the best possible technology. We are committed to that mission at the Foundation and to making lives better for children across southern Saskatchewan.”
To learn more about the amazing work done in Regina's NICU every day, click here
to watch this inspiring video.