Premature born to a 15-year-old mother; a YANA family from decades past – Comox Valley Record
Special for The Record
It was spring 1994, and Megan Lacourse, just 15, had recently moved from her parents’ house and was awaiting the arrival of her first son, when she started labor and found herself in the Saint-Joseph hospital months earlier. planned. A few days later and still in Comox, his son Andrew was born in a breech footling presentation, weighing just two pounds, seven ounces.
Andrew needed help breathing and Megan remembers the pediatrician working to keep him ventilated for over three hours while waiting for the transport helicopter to arrive.
“The pediatrician here ventilated my son by hand starting at 8:40 am. They ended up driving him to Victoria. Originally it would be Vancouver, but it was stronger than they thought.
While Andrew was receiving medical treatment at the NICU in Victoria, Megan was trying to figure out how she was going to stay and care for her son who was now a four hour drive along Old Island Road in another town . She had heard about YANA through a friend, but it was a nurse at the hospital who first put her in touch with YANA’s support.
“The nurses at the nursing station gave me an envelope, and there was $ 50 from YANA and a toothbrush,” Megan explains.
It was this $ 50 that was the start of what would be YANA’s continued help in ensuring that she could travel and stay in Victoria with her son every weekend during the 52 days he was there. Victoria General Hospital.
“Basically we would go every Thursday night, go to Victoria and come back Sunday night or Monday morning,” Megan says. “In the meantime, our vehicle broke down, so YANA supported us by paying for our hotels and renting us a vehicle.”
YANA’s funding and accommodation programs support approximately 70 to 80 pregnant women and children under one year of age each year. These families find themselves resettled for medical care in Nanaimo, Victoria or Vancouver due to the limitations of the Comox Valley Hospital’s ability to provide support for preterm births. Many of these families learn of YANA’s existence through the hospital’s emergency fundraising program, which puts unconditional funds and information about YANA into the hands of relatives who are sent out of the community by the hospital. from Comox Valley, just like the envelope Megan received. when her son was born.
This first point of contact, along with the care and support that occurs after creating families with YANA, has a huge impact both financially and emotionally on families, and it was no exception for Megan and her son.
“It was amazing for us,” Megan says. “I mean, I grew up here, it’s always been a great community. But to have the solid knowledge that every week we had a place to stay. This made sure that the financial aspect of it was not a problem for us at all. Money was definitely not something we had a lot of. Honestly, I don’t know how we would have handled it.
After nearly three months in Victoria, Andrew was released back home in the Comox Valley, and Megan spoke of how lucky he was to do so well.
“He had a really smooth ride for what it might have been, considering his prematurity.”
YANA’s support didn’t stop there. After returning home, YANA continued to care for Megan and her son by providing resources to support her as a new and young mother.
“They helped me connect to other services,” she said. “There were other organizations that brought me a baby bath, clothes bags and gift certificates, so it was more than going back and forth and a place to stay, it’s the relationships with people. other organizations that were able to help us.
Fast forward almost three decades, Andrew is the youngest of five siblings and lives and works in the Comox Valley. Beaming with a mother’s pride, Megan shares that he’s fine.
“He will be 27 in April, he is a hairdresser at Chatters. He is great.”
There are 2,500 Valley Vonka chocolate bars available throughout the Comox Valley, with gold tickets randomly inserted into five of the chocolate bars.
Each Gold Ticket will be eligible to win one of the following Grand Prizes:
• family passes to the Mount Washington Alpine Resort
• The Old House Hotel and Spa gift vouchers
• Kingfisher Oceanside Resort, spa and restaurant gift certificates
• A $ 1,000 shopping spree at Canadian Tire
• Peninsula Co-op gas card of $ 1,000
The total value of all prizes is $ 7,500.
Bars are available for purchase by donation (suggested donation of $ 5) at:
• Parker household appliances
• Oh Spa
• a local restaurant
• Mount Washington
• the Kingfisher Oceanside Resort and Spa
• Peninsula Co-op
• Canadian tire
• Old House Hotel & Spa
• hot chocolates
• Secure copy
• YANA office
• Bomback & Co.
• Pilon tools
• Mackenzie Gartside & Associates
• the Blinds Bubbles store
• Return It Depot
• Brian McLean, Managing Director
• the salon pharmacy
• Bennett Sheet Metal
• Courtenay Nissan
• Ives Burger Law
• Hyland prefabrication
• CSN / reliable bodywork
• Pharmasave Comox
• Lara Austin
• Record for the Comox Valley
Andrea Postal is a member of the YANA Customer Services team