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Abigail presents Jeneece Edroff with a cheque for $4,000
from the Rotary Club of Port Hardy in support Jeneece Place.
Our daughter, Abigail McCorquodale, was diagnosd prior to birth with esophageal atresia, which means that she was born without a fully formed esophagus. Born in Victoria in January 2005, Abigail required immediate surgery and stayed in the neonatal intensive care nursery for more than four months. During this time, my husband stayed home with the two older children in Port Hardy so they continue with school while I stayed at the hospital.
For more than one hundred days, I lived in the hospital spending my days by Abigail's bedside trying to give her as normal an experience as possible - bonding and interacting with her. Abby was permanently attached to a suction outlet on the wall, but we set up a corner of the nursery for her with books and toys. Every couple of days, I would run out and purchase frozen dinners or cans of soup which I was able to keep on the ward. If Abigail looked like she was settling down for a nap, I would run to find a place to have a shower or would take a walk on the hospital grounds to get some fresh air.
Today, Abigail is a happy and healthy seven-year-old. She will likely require ongoing care for many years. Each time we travel down to Victoria it is a 14-hour round trip. It is expensive and physically and mentally draining.
During our stays at the Victoria General Hospital, we have met many other families from around Vancouver Island and Western Canada whose children are receiving care in Victoria. Many of these families struggle with trying to arrange a place to stay. There are no facilities to accommodate families close to the hospital, so many sleep on cots and in chairs at the hospital while supporting their child who is undergoing treatment. Jeneece Place will be a great help to all.
~ Brenda McCorquodale