World Prematurity Day inspires local luncheon at Jeneece Place

VGH neonatal intensive care nurses thanked for kindness and care

Registered nurse Joanne Laforce

As landmarks all around the world were lighting up in purple on Monday to help raise awareness for the fourth annual World Prematurity Day, six local mothers did their part to mark the day.

The moms, who all gave birth to premature babies within the last year at Victoria General Hospital, hosted and paid for a luncheon to thank staff in the neonatal intensive care unit, and to show support for the families with infants currently in hospital.

“It was wonderful for them to acknowledge us the way that they did,” said Joanne Laforce, a registered nurse in the unit for 27 years. “We look at them as family as well. We bond with the parents and we bond with the babies. We never go into nursing expecting recognition, and to know that they feel about us the same way we feel about them is just wonderful.”

Nearly 500 babies were admitted to VGH’s neonatal intensive care unit last year, and of those, about 90 were born very premature at less than 32 weeks, requiring round-the-clock specialized care. There are 19 premature babies at VGH right now, and though the job is challenging, it also has its great rewards, Laforce said.

“We see them when they’re vulnerable and fragile. When they defy the odds and get to go home, it’s really rewarding.”

World Prematurity Day aims to raise awareness of premature births, which happen in one of 10 pregnancies worldwide. Premature babies may face learning disabilities, or suffer from vision or hearing problems later on.

Globally, pre-term births are the leading cause of death in children under five, according to the World Health Organization.

acowan@goldstreamgazette.com

Just Posted

Artists find showcase at Coast Collective gallery

Art from the Attic showcases forgotten treasures

Drop off your old branches in Colwood

Program helps keep city yards tidy

Premier John Horgan announces improvements to Highway 14

Construction on the $10 million project is set to begin immediately

Upgrades to Millstream overpass to begin Feb. 1

Project includes addition of left hand turn lane onto highway to Victoria

Victoria Grizzlies look to continue hot steak

Team hits the road this weekend before Family Fun Night

Monster trucks invade Victoria

Traxxas Monster Truck Tour stops at Save-On Foods Memorial Centre this weekend

UPDATE: BC Transit’s handyDart service strike delayed

LRB application by contractor means new strike notice must be issued by union

Two Canadians, two Americans abducted in Nigeria are freed

Kidnapping for ransom is common in Nigeria, especially on the Kaduna to Abuja highway

Are you ready for some wrestling? WWE’s ‘Raw’ marks 25 years

WWE flagship show is set to mark its 25th anniversary on Monday

B.C. woman who forged husband’s will gets house arrest

Princeton Judge says Odelle Simmons did not benefit from her crime

Women’s movement has come a long way since march on Washington: Activists

Vancouver one of several cities hosting event on anniversary of historic Women’s March on Washington

Liberals’ 2-year infrastructure plan set to take 5: documents

Government says 793 projects totalling $1.8 billion in federal funds have been granted extensions

Workers shouldn’t be used as ‘pawns’ in minimum wage fight: Wynne

Comments from Kathleen Wynne after demonstrators rallied outside Tim Hortons locations across Canada

John ‘Chick’ Webster, believed to be oldest living former NHL player, dies

Webster died Thursday at his home in Mattawa, Ont., where he had resided since 1969

Most Read