Whether a life is measured in years, months, or even days, the philosophy at Canuck Place Children’s Hospice is that every life is precious and should be lived to the fullest.
This holiday season, the Canuck Place team honours the special people they serve, like Baby Bronwyn from New Westminster.
Bronwyn was introduced to the world January 2017, at 28 weeks old. She was born premature and medically fragile but without a diagnosis. Parents Andrea and Jason Harman remained at her side, unaware of the journey ahead. They quickly became completely reliant on the caregivers around them to help them navigate Bronwyn’s complex issues. She was struggling to develop and grow, regularly requiring invasive respiratory support.
After several months in the NICU, Bronwyn was diagnosed with a rare, life-threatening illness called MIRAGE syndrome and it became clear that her numerous medical interventions weren’t sufficient in supporting her.
“Bronwyn’s fragile life was on the line more times than we could recall,” says Andrea. “Good days were often followed by devastating crashes requiring her to be put back on invasive clinical support.”
Canuck Place Children’s Hospice cares for the entire family
The Harmans were exhausted, both physically and emotionally. Feeling overwhelmed and helpless, they were referred to the Canuck Place Children’s Hospice clinical team.
With the guidance and care of the Canuck Place nursing, physician, and counselling team, Andrea and Jason redirected their focus on Bronwyn’s comfort and making memories together as a family.
“Bronwyn’s comfort became our main priority,” explains Andrea. “We worked closely with Canuck Place to ensure we focused on her quality of life as opposed to fixing her, as that wasn’t an option anymore.”
While Bronwyn and her parents were in the hospital, the Canuck Place team provided guidance and expertise in family-led care and, ultimately, end-of-life care.
“As we neared the end of Bronwyn’s life, Canuck Place gave us the support we needed to savour our time together as a family,” says Andrea. “Canuck Place physicians, nurses, and counsellors were at our side when it was her time.”
Bronwyn passed away August 2017 surrounded with the love of her family. The Harmans remain connected to Canuck Place with access to bereavement counselling as their difficult journey continues.
“Canuck Place provides ongoing grief and emotional counselling for our whole family,” says Andrea. “They help us articulate our grief for Bronwyn. Even our four-year-old son attends Canuck Place play therapy to help him process his emotions.”
Canuck Place works hand-in-hand with families like the Harmans to provide expert clinical care and help build special memories, all at no cost. Every life is precious and Canuck Place supports families to honour the life of their child.
“So much has changed but Bronwyn is still part of our daily lives,” says Andrea. “Canuck Place helps us figure out how to celebrate her and live without her physically here with us. And we do.”
Light A Life at Canuck Place – Dave Lede House
This holiday season, your gift will provide care for children like Bronwyn as well as hundreds more on the Canuck Place program.
For a limited time, your donation will be matched by John and Claire Nicola and Friends, so give today and help Canuck Place be there when families need them most.
In May 2018, Canuck Place introduced inpatient care at Dave Lede House in Abbotsford with four inpatient medical beds and four family suites.
Your holiday gift will support this expansion of care in-hospice and in-home.