Transformational Healthcare – why your support matters

How research, technology, skill and caring came together to make a profound difference for one BC family, as told by mom Ali.

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Grateful patient family

“We’re sharing this story because we owe our daughter’s life to BC Women’s Hospital + Health Centre. After a difficult journey to get pregnant, we were excited to discover we were finally expecting identical twins – double happiness! Having multiples meant we would need to be carefully monitored by BC Women’s Hospital + Health Centre Maternal Fetal Medicine Clinic. At one of our weekly ultrasounds, the reason for close monitoring became suddenly and terrifyingly real: at 21 weeks, we discovered the twins had developed a serious, often fatal condition, known as acute twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome.

We were given some immediate emergency options, including a rare procedure to try and save both girls. The procedure successfully saved one of our twins, Reiko, but sadly we lost her sister, Tae. While the odds of saving both girls with this surgery was not high, we would have almost certainly lost both twins if we hadn’t proceeded. I will never forget those few devastating days in hospital and the immense expertise, determination and kindness of the hospital staff that surrounded us through all of it. Several weeks later, with the help of the incredible team at BC Women’s Hospital + Health Centre, Reiko was born premature at 31 weeks, weighing 3lb 5oz, and she spent time in the NICU afterwards.

Almost 13 years later, the whole experience still shakes me emotionally; it was the hardest thing that my husband and I have ever gone through. You go through all the extreme feelings at once when you lose one baby and are blessed with the survival of another, both immense grief and immense gratitude.

It’s safe to say that our healthy, tenacious, smart, athletic and high-energy daughter Reiko  is with us because of the entire staff, the science and technology and the care we received. I can also imagine that continued support will ensure future complications like ours will end up with even higher survival rates. Thank you, BC Women’s Hospital + Health Centre!”