Meet Lindsay Howcroft and her adorable daughter Shaylin:
You may have seen our QCH and Foundation social media posts this week about the incredible story of Lindsay Howcroft and her adorable baby, Shaylin Tara-Kathleen. They have a lasting connection to QCH that all started on the evening of February 12, 2017.
Lindsay and her husband had a birthing plan for how they imagined bringing their daughter into the world. When Lindsay’s water broke on the morning of February 13, 2017, after being induced the evening before, all signs pointed toward a normal delivery. But, not long after she checked into the birth unit at QCH, Lindsay sensed something wasn’t quite right.
A fetal heart rate monitor revealed that Shaylin’s heart rate was low and she was in serious danger. What was supposed to be the best day of Lindsay’s life was quickly turning into the worst.
Lindsay still remembers being wheeled into surgery and the fear and panic she felt as she heard the emergency code being paged over the hospital intercom. As an Administrative Control Clerk at the hospital, she had heard the emergency code many times before, but this time it was incredibly personal. This time the emergency code was sounding the alarm because both she and her baby were in danger. For Lindsay, hearing that sound was gut-wrenching.
Fortunately, both mom and baby were in good hands with Dr. Liisa Honey performing the emergency C-section. “I specifically remember saying, ‘Get her out of me’,” said Lindsay of those final moments before she was anesthetized. “I didn’t care if it hurt; I didn’t care what happened to me. She needed out ASAP.”
The medical staff acted quickly — it took just 12 minutes to deliver the baby from the moment that obstetrics nurse Jessica first realized there was a complication.
The first several days were touch and go for baby Shaylin, and worrisome for mom and dad. Her medical team kept close watch on the little patient, who was experiencing seizures and other health complications. In order to regulate her body temperature and protect her brain from trauma, Shaylin was kept on a cooling table inside the nursery. She was also kept safe in an infant incubator – a medical device that acts like a cocoon or second womb to protect premature or sick newborns by providing them with optimal conditions for their development. Temperature, oxygen level, humidity, light and noise can all be adjusted to protect tiny patients from harm.
Lindsay believes that both medical devices played a crucial role in her baby’s survival by giving Shaylin a little extra care when she needed it most. “It was a life-saving measure.”
QCH Foundation is in the final stages of a fundraising campaign to purchase four new infant incubators to upgrade the ones currently in use at the hospital. Enough money has been raised for three new devices and your support will ensure we raise the $35,000 to purchase the final incubator.
With Mother’s Day around the corner, we are asking YOU to make a donation towards the purchase of this vital piece of equipment, so babies like Shaylin will have a safe place to receive the care they need during a critical time.
We invite you to make a donation in honour of a special mom in your life and send a custom e-Card that will be delivered on or before Mother’s Day on Sunday, May 8. Along with a heartfelt message, you can also choose from a series of incredible photographs by celebrated Ottawa-based photographer, Michelle Valberg.
Your donation will help purchase an infant incubator. These important medical devices are critical to newborns who need assistance at birth, keeping these precious bundles of joy safe and secure.