Meet Shyla and Caide: How a home away from home helped this Campbell River family

In spring of 2018, Campbell River soon-to-be mom Shyla went into preterm labour at just 24 weeks. After being flown to Vancouver and then sent to Victoria, Shyla knew there was going to be a long and complicated road ahead for her and her newborn son Caide.

Being hours away from home and family, Shyla wondered where they would stay during their extended time in Victoria. This feeling is a reality for many Island families needing to travel long distances to receive health care. Thankfully, Jeneece Place, Victoria’s home away from home, was able to take the pair in.

“I have no idea what we would have done without Jeneece Place. The only other option would have been to get a hotel, but we can’t afford that,”  said Shyla.

Shyla and Caide’s initial stay at Jeneece Place lasted four months. For Shyla, it was an experience she couldn’t be more grateful for. When work permitted, Shyla’s fiancé Brandon was able to travel from Campbell River and stay with her. When by herself, Jeneece Place staff was there to support her.

“Being surrounded by people while staying at Jeneece Place made my situation a whole lot easier. It was easy for me to feel bad when I was alone, but at Jeneece Place, there was so much distraction and just having people around me made the whole situation better.”

Shyla remembers the little touches the staff would do to make her feel comfortable and cared for during her stay. One of her most cherished memories was on Mother’s Day.

“Jeneece Place staff wrote me a card on Mother’s Day and I still have it to this day! I woke up, opened my door, and there were flowers and a card. It was just so sweet. It meant a lot to me.”

Caide and Shyla are back home living in Campbell River, but Caide still experiences frequent seizures, which means they travel to Victoria every few months so he can receive treatment. Each time, they’ve been able to stay at Jeneece Place.

“Every time we stay at Jeneece Place the staff remembers us and our situation. It truly is a ‘home away from home’. Whether they’re making you dinner, or just making you laugh, they make it better.”

Beyond his little setbacks, Caide is doing really well. He just turned a year old in May and is learning to walk.

Children’s Health Foundation of Vancouver Island continues to fund ongoing operations at Jeneece Place thanks to generous donors. In September we announced we are working to build a home away from home, similar to Jeneece Place, in Campbell River. Q̓ʷalayu House will be a 10-bedroom home that will largely support families from the west and northern regions of the Island, needing to travel to Campbell River to access care at the neighbouring hospital or health care services.

We need to raise $7 million to build the home, fully equip the facility, and fund its ongoing operations for the first five years.

Families like Shyla and Caide’s are relying on your support so they can have a home away from home to stay while they receive the health care they need.

Will you make a gift and help us hold Island families close? Make a gift to our home away from home expansion fund today!

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