Praise and charity after premature delivery

New Westminster, B.C. – {January 30, 2017} – Comfort is on the rise inside Royal Columbian Hospital’s Variety Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).  A fundraising campaign led by two North Vancouver doctors with a personal reason to be grateful will allow Royal Columbian Hospital Foundation to purchase two dozen neonatal nursing chairs and two state-of-the-art incubators.

Sarah and Riley Senft donated close to $100,000 to the Foundation after their daughter was born ten weeks premature at Royal Columbian Hospital last year during an emergency procedure. The newborn girl was delivered mere hours after the couple arrived by air ambulance from California, where they had been visiting for a family wedding.

“Until our experience, I didn’t realize Royal Columbian had such a large NICU and offers that kind of care,” adds Sarah, a family physician. “I can’t say enough good things about them.”

Royal Columbian Hospital’s Variety NICU is one of four ‘Level 3’ centres in the province that are designated to care for the sickest and most fragile premature babies from throughout British Columbia. The unit has been recognized for close to two decades as consistently having among the best survival rates in Canada, despite the challenge of caring for babies born as early as 23 weeks into pregnancy and weighing as little as 500 grams or less.

“I want my friends to know if ever need neonatal intensive care, Royal Columbian is where they should go,” says Riley, an anesthesiologist in North Vancouver. “The neonatologists were awesome. The nurses were very knowledgeable and incredibly helpful. The physiotherapists, occupational therapists, dieticians were all amazing.”

Through the generosity of a number of other donors, the Foundation has doubled the couple’s gift. The NICU will receive 24 special recliners to support skin-to-skin contact between newborn and parents while in hospital, as well as two Omnibed incubators, which provide an ideal, stable microenvironment to promote healthy growth in premature babies.

“It will make a tremendous difference for babies and their parents who often spend weeks or even months in our NICU,” says Royal Columbian Hospital Foundation President and CEO Jeff Norris. “Sarah and Riley relied on their personal experience to identify how they could best support other families who need neonatal care. The impact of their giving will be felt by thousands.”

Your care is critical

At Royal Columbian, the most seriously ill and injured get their greatest chance at life. We are the only hospital in BC with trauma, cardiac, neurosciences, high-risk maternity and neonatal intensive care on one site. We look after some of the most seriously ill and injured patients, and we do it with the support of donors like you.

Since 1978, donors to Royal Columbian Hospital Foundation have helped fund priority equipment needs, facility enhancements, research, education and innovation at Royal Columbian Hospital.