Meet Harper: How Jeneece Place provided hope to this Island family
When Island mom Miranda was 27 weeks pregnant with her second child, she knew in her gut that something was not right. Her suspicions were confirmed at Nanaimo General Hospital when she found out that she needed to be immediately sent to Victoria and that her baby was in grave danger. Her little girl, Harper, would be arriving sooner than expected.
“At Victoria General, we learned Harper’s situation was serious. Harper had stopped moving. Her heart rate was slowing down. We were losing her,” remembers Miranda.
Doctors quickly cautioned Miranda and her partner, Harreson, that their daughter might not survive. After an emergency c-section three months before Harper’s due date, the family’s little one was born and weighed only 843 grams – about the size of a brick of butter.
In Harper’s first days, she faced obstacle after obstacle.
“To be honest, it’s hard to remember all of the issues she had to overcome because there were so many. Her doctors didn’t think she’d survive for long,” says Miranda.
After two weeks of recovering in the hospital close to her daughter, Miranda was overjoyed to learn that doctors saw improvement in Harper’s condition. There was a glimmer of hope.
And while the two girls were recovering at Victoria General, Harreson and their son were able to find a home away from home in Jeneece Place. Staying close by their loved ones in the hospital meant everything to the family during a terrifying time.
When Harreson needed to return to work, Miranda was alone for the majority of her time at Jeneece Place after her two weeks of recovery at the hospital. Each time that she picked up her little one out of the incubator, Harper’s heartrate dropped, setting alarms off. Miranda just wanted to hold her baby.
“With the support of staff at Jeneece Place, I felt as if I had the whole house cheering Harper on in her recovery,” recalls Miranda.
Throughout her stay at the home away from home, Jeneece Place staff became like family to Miranda. Having food and essentials readily available meant everything when she returned from the hospital each day, physically and emotionally exhausted. During the times when Harreson was able to visit, the art room, games, and friendly staff brought joy to her son.
And after more than three months in the NICU, Harper was given the green light – the family was able to go home.
Little Harper is now a year and a half old and requires ongoing monitoring of her development. When the family returns to Victoria for Harper’s specialist appointments, Jeneece Place is always there.
“There are so many families like mine that unexpectedly need support. Jeneece Place gives Island families peace of mind and alleviates a huge burden for them during their greatest time of need. I will be forever grateful.”
This holiday season, your gift to Children’s Health Foundation will make all the difference for Island kids like Harper and their families. Will you give hope to Island families who need it most?