A home away from home

 Don and Samantha Cronin with daughter Maeve

Don and Samantha Cronin with daughter Maeve

Seventeen months ago, Don and Samantha Cronin were preparing for the birth of their first child – and gearing up for a busy holiday season – when they got an unexpected surprise: little Maeve, born five weeks early and weighing just four pounds, 12 ounces.

Like many premature babies, Maeve faced a number of immediate health issues. She was admitted to the special care nursery (SCN) at Michael Garron Hospital, and spent ten days receiving close monitoring and specialized support. 

The first few days were challenging. Maeve had some difficulty maintaining her temperature and needed continuous monitoring. She was also treated twice for jaundice and initially needed a feeding tube for a few days to help her grow before adjusting to breastfeeding.

“We felt ecstatic and overjoyed to meet our little baby but overwhelmed and worried because we weren’t sure what the road ahead would look like,” says Don.

Having a baby in the SCN is stressful for new parents, but the support of the nursing team helped Don and Samantha make the best of an uncertain situation.

“They made us feel comforted and reassured,” says Don. “They really cared, not just about Maeve, but about how we were doing too. That made a huge difference.”

Maeve’s parents formed a special bond with the nursing staff over the course of her stay. They were so appreciative of the exceptional care they received that they made a donation in honour of the nursing team through Michael Garron Hospital’s Grateful Giving program.

 It’s an acknowledgement that makes Jennifer Bordin, hospital manager of newborn and child health services, feel immensely proud of her team.

“Even though I see and hear about the great job our health care team does every day, it’s an honour to be appreciated and recognized by the families we care for,” she says. “All the little things we do may be routine for us, but they have meaningful and long-term impacts on the families we serve. Being valued in this way acknowledges the hard work that we provide to our patients. We feel privileged to be a part of their story.”

For Jennifer and the nursing team in the SCN, it’s really all about the patients and their families. “Some of the families are here for a long time, so we really get to know them,” she says. “It’s the constant interaction with patients, and being able to support and encourage them that helps us see the impact we really have.”

Today, Maeve is a happy, healthy 17-month old who loves to sing and dance with her new friends at daycare.  With no lasting effects from her early arrival into the world, she just has a December birthday, instead of one in January. And Maeve and her family are now excitedly awaiting the next chapter in their lives – the imminent arrival of a new sibling. 

“The special care nursery and the nursing team truly were our home away from home for those 10 days,” says her dad. “We’re very grateful for the incredible care Maeve received at Michael Garron Hospital.”

Have you or a loved one received exceptional care at our hospital? You can honour a member of the Michael Garron team who made an outstanding difference to you or your family by making a donation through the Grateful Giving program. The staff member or volunteer you honour will receive a thank you card with your name and a special pin in recognition of your gratitude and generosity.