Edmonton man sleeps outside in freezing temperatures to support Stollery Children's Hospital
Peter Burgess' 3-year-old daughter passed away at the hospital in 2007
An Edmonton man slept outside in -32 C weather Saturday night — just a few steps away from the warmth and comfort of his home.
Peter Burgess braved the cold for the second year in a row to raise money for the Stollery Children's Hospital.
Burgess has a history with the hospital. In 2007, his 3-year-old daughter, Elan, died there.
"Our daughter was in the stollery for three days, but really six hours, and she passed away," he said.
A CT scan revealed the young girl was brain dead after suffering a seizure.
Ten years later, Elan's family is raising money for the facility that supported them in their darkest days.
"Anything we can do for the Stollery, we're ready and willing to do," said Burgess, who calls himself the Freezing Father.
This weekend, that meant sleeping in a tent in his backyard in the Rutherford neighbourhood during a cold snap.
Burgess hopes to raise $15,000 for the Stollery so the PICU transport team can purchase a new ventilator. He said the ventilator uses a nasal cannula, which means children won't have to be intubated with a tube down their throat — something Burgess said can be quite traumatic.
His daughter was intubated during her time at the hospital. Elan's family is grateful for the staff who helped them during those three difficult days.
"We are so fortunate in Edmonton to have this facility. The people that work there, the doctors are amazing, the nurses are incredible, the support staff is second to none," he said.
"If your kid is really sick, it's the place you want to be. Just an amazing place. Miracles happen there."
Burgess said Edmontonians are supportive of the Stollery.
Last year, he set an $8,000 goal for the inaugural Freezing Father's Fundraiser, but surpassed it by $20,000.
As of 7 a.m. Sunday, the camp out raised $3,312.
"I truly believe that the support that the Stollery gets wouldn't necessarily happen somewhere else," he said.
People can donate to the ongoing campaign on the Freezing Father's Fundraiser website.