As I visit with Jeff and Carrie Knox, I can’t help but feel their gratitude for BC Children’s Hospital.
You see, their first born, Isabelle, was born at 26 weeks gestation and weighed a mere one pound, 13 ounces.
On Oct. 30, 2003, Carrie attended Dr. Raffard’s office with concerns of her pregnancy.
Within a few hours, Carrie was in the air ambulance on her way to Women’s Hospital at BC Children’s Hospital.
Medical staff greeted Carrie and explained that an infection had reached the fetus’s amniotic fluid. The only sure way to keep the baby out of harm was to induce labour. Jeff gathered his thoughts and belongings in Williams Lake, driving the seemingly endless road to Vancouver to be by Carrie’s side. Jeff and Carrie will never forget that nerve-racking night, waiting for the birth of their child.
At 7:17 a.m., Oct. 31, Isabelle Amelia Knox was born without any obvious complications.
To her parents’ relief, Isabelle released a soft cry, something every new parent waits to hear. The doctors warned the family of the preemie “honeymoon period” — the first 24 hours of birth in which the newborn seems to be in full health.
Because Isabelle’s lungs weren’t fully developed, she was hooked up to a bubble CPAP which is commonly used in assisting premature babies with breathing.
At six days old, the doctors concluded that Isabelle was in need of more aggressive breathing support.
Isabelle spent the next 40 days intubated, attached to a central line, oxygen, and a feeding tube. Isabelle then contracted an infection in her esophagus, leading to her neonatal isolation.
Against all odds, Isabelle persevered through these medical challenges. With the expert care at BC Children’s Hospital, Jeff and Carrie learned what to expect in the coming years and how to help Isabelle grow stronger.
Her progress amazed the doctors and after 114 days in hospital, Isabelle was released from constant medical attention. Isabelle left the hospital on Feb. 22, 2004, two weeks after the original due date of her birth. Weighing eight pounds, six ounces, breathing and feeding without a tube, Isabelle looked like a full term newborn.
Regular check-ups at Children’s Hospital went smoothly for Isabelle though the staff did warn the Knox family that preemies sometimes are slower than others their age to mature in their primary years.
Nevertheless, Jeff and Carrie worked with public health nurses, occupational therapists, as well as their own family physician in Williams Lake to give Isabelle every opportunity to prosper.
This paid off. Isabelle entered kindergarten with no qualms and no one would suspect any of the tribulations she endured in the first year of her life.
Now eight years old, Isabelle is planning to give back to BC Children’s Hospital in a big way.
She is joining a local group named Kids Running for Kids (KRFK).
They are running, relay style, the nearly 600 kilometres from Williams Lake to Vancouver this summer in hopes of raising $25,000 for BC Children’s Hospital.
KRFK has already collected nearly $10,000 in donations and are continuously working to raise awareness of their fundraiser.
Right now you can donate your empty recycling containers to Amanda Enterprises, noting Kids Running for Kids Bottle Drive, for the current campaign.
The next upcoming event is a raffle with first prize being four VIP ticket packages (worth $200 each) to the Hedley concert in Prince George Feb. 13, second place is a television and blu-ray player, and third place is a $200 Save On gift card.
Watch the local newspapers and listen to local radio stations for more fundraisers.
To learn more about this amazing project, visit www.bcchf.ca/kidsrunningforkids or check out our Facebook page, “Kids Running for Kids.”
If you are interested in assisting us reach our goal, with either a monetary or other donation, please e-mail email@example.com.