PEI

Christmas in neonatal intensive care: A family's video aims to share hope

A Charlottetown family is sharing their own experience about spending the holidays in a neonatal intensive care unit with a premature baby with the aim of inspiring hope in other families.

'At Christmas time Christmas miracles happen'

Evan Landry was born at just 29 weeks, but four years later he appears to be developing normally. (Kim and Tony Landry)

A Charlottetown family is sharing their own experience about spending the holidays in a neonatal intensive care unit with a premature baby with the aim of inspiring hope in other families.

For Kim and Tony Landry, the terrifying experience began without warning four years ago.

"I woke up one morning here in Charlottetown, just a regular morning, having breakfast, and out of nowhere my water broke," Kim Landry told CBC Radio's Island Morning.

Landry was 28 weeks pregnant with two children under the age of five at home. She and her husband packed up the kids and drove immediately to the hospital.

Evan Landry weighed just two pounds five ounces when he was born. (Kim and Tony Landry)

She was airlifted to the IWK hospital in Halifax and Evan was born two days later.

He weighed just two pounds five ounces.

The baby had an infection and was put on antibiotics. His brain, not prepared for life outside the womb, was bleeding. Doctors said it would be years before they could know if that brain bleed would affect his development.

"It just seems so hopeless when you're in there and you're so terrified and you have no idea what's going on and there's so many unknowns," she said.

Christmas at the NICU

After two weeks, Evan was stable enough for his incubator to be moved to Charlottetown.

Here he is now singing Christmas carols with his dad.— Kim Landry

He spent two months at the neonatal intensive care unit, or NICU — including Christmas.

It was a difficult time as the Landrys tried to be with Evan, and to give their other children at home a holiday to remember.

"You don't know where to be or who to be with or how to do it all," said Kim Landry.

Four years later, Evan has graduated from the IWK neonatal program and appears to be growing up without any issues from his premature birth.

The family has made a video, including a recording of Evan singing Frosty the Snowman with his father, to give hope to other families going through a similar experience this Christmas.

"He was so tiny four years ago, and here he is now singing Christmas carols with his dad," said Landry.

"At Christmas time Christmas miracles happen. Maybe those families are living one right now."

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?

now