Meet the Taylers: How Jeneece Place helped these Campbell River parents welcome their preemie twins
As first-time expectant parents, Campbell River couple David and Tara were eagerly preparing in the last weeks before their twins arrived. And while they were looking forward to a hospital birth in their home community, their plans quickly changed after a routine ultrasound two months before Tara’s due date.
Even though Tara was only 32 weeks into her pregnancy, her doctors worried she could go into labour at any point. She was sent to Victoria General Hospital for monitoring after spending a night at Campbell River Hospital.
Jeneece Place: A safe, warm community
While Tara was on bedrest at the hospital, Tara’s mother and David were able to stay nearby at Jeneece Place. Tara joined them at the house after a week, needing to stay close to the hospital in case the twins decided to arrive early.
Jeneece Place offered a welcome place to relax for the family while they anticipated the arrival of their first little ones. They quickly became a part of the Jeneece Place community, with David baking over 16 loaves of bread for other families staying at the home.
“It was a little community. We could eat dinner in the dining room and talk to other families and learn their stories,” remembers Tara.
On a few occasions, volunteers cooked their meals and shared warm baked goods, meaning the couple had one less thing to worry about during a stressful time. They were even able to get into the Christmas spirit, with the house decorated for the holidays.
“I was so miserable and sick near the end of my pregnancy and was in so much pain that I could barely walk. Despite that, I felt so lucky that we were at Jeneece Place. It meant everything to my husband and me.”
Meeting the twins
After two weeks away from home, baby Alison and George were born on December 12, more than a month before their due date. With no underlying health conditions, the family was able to go home to Campbell River only four days after the twins’ birth.
Now approaching their fifth birthday, the twins are bubbly, active kids who are excited to start kindergarten in the fall.
“Alison loves to dress up as a princess and go for walks and bike rides outside. She has a funny little personality. George is obsessed with dinosaurs and loves riding his bike too. They’re good kids,” says Tara.
And when their doctor suspected earlier this year that little George might be on the autism spectrum, Jeneece Place welcomed the family again before an early morning assessment appointment in Victoria.
“When I walked into the kitchen of Jeneece Place, I just started bawling because all the memories of that time flooded right back,” says Tara. “I’m so glad Jeneece Place exists.”
A home away from home in Campbell River
Thanks to the generosity of donors, Tara and David were able to access Jeneece Place to be close to their babies in the hospital. Many Island families in rural and remote communities cannot afford accommodations away from their community and support networks while accessing essential health care.
Inspired by Jeneece Place, Q̓ʷalayu House, our new home away from home project, will provide a safe, welcoming home away from home for expectant moms and families with children needing a place to stay while receiving health care in Campbell River.
“It will be great for North Island families to have a place to stay that is closer to home. It’s so important for everyone to have a place that they can go to where they can feel welcomed and safe.”
Hundreds of people helped to build Jeneece Place. Today we are asking for your help to build Q̓ʷalayu House. You can support families like David and Tara by making a gift today.