When caregivers touch hearts
Many of you were touched by the story of Cody Halfpenny, a patient featured in an earlier blog post.
Cody was born with a congenital heart defect called transposition of the great arteries (TGA), which causes the main arteries of the heart to switch positions and results in a lack of oxygenated blood to the body.
Cody’s parents, Elena and Corey, speak about two hospital staff who stood out among the many who cared for Cody during his time at the hospital – people who made a difference not only in Cody’s life, but also in theirs.
“Carrie, an ICU nurse, was with Cody throughout his three-month stay in the ICU in March 2013. She is Cody’s absolute favourite nurse. Everyone we had was amazing but Carrie went above and beyond, not just for Cody, but for our whole family. During his stay in the ICU, Cody lost 36 lbs due to his strokes and uncontrollable vomiting, and he wouldn’t eat hospital food, no matter what we tried. Carrie took the time to find out what Cody liked and brought him food from home just so that he would eat. She was always so gentle with him, even during a few periods of aggression he experienced in the early days of his strokes. She always spoke softly to him so that he would relax and comforted him when he was so scared of all the people poking and prodding at him. During procedures, she would stay with him to make sure he had someone familiar in the room at all times; at night, when we were too exhausted to stay by his bedside, she would text us and say, ‘he’s okay, go to sleep.’ This is the most comforting thing she could have done for us.”
“Vicky, Cody’s perfusionist, was with Cody since day one and continues to be his one constant person. She is literally our rock as well.
Before March 2013, we had no idea what a perfusionist was. During Cody’s stay in the ICU, Vicky showed up every day to check on him. Sometimes, we wondered if she lived at the hospital! In the last two years, she has remained the one person we speak to on a weekly basis. She is part of our family and always just a phone call away. There were times we had to take Cody to our local ER, where they were not familiar with his condition. She is the one we would always call, often in hysterics, and she always reassured us and said, ‘He’s in a safe place.’ She is our go-to person and always has an answer to calm us down. These last two years would have been much different if we didn’t have Vicky.”
Elena and Corey offer this final thought on the hospital: “BC Children’s Hospital is so different and the care we have received has been nothing short of amazing. It makes such a difference being able to contact a team member directly and we honestly don’t know what we would do without them.”
CP Has Heart initiative, in partnership with BC Children's, is helping kids like Cody.
As part of CP's sponsorship of the 2015 Canadian Pacific Women’s Open, taking place August 20-23, 2015, BC Children’s Hospital has been chosen as the official tournament charity of choice. All funds raised will be matched, dollar for dollar, and directed to the pediatric cardiology research program for BC Children's Hospital Heart Centre.
Make your dollar count - twice! Donate here and CP will match your donation, dollar for dollar.
Learn all about the 2015 Canadian Pacific Women’s Open.