New ‘baby wall’ launched at Abbotsford Regional Hospital

Program allows parents to announce birth of their baby, while raising crucial funds

Artist Dean Lauze (left) and Sieglende and Jack Koning

Artist Dean Lauze (left) and Sieglende and Jack Koning

A new mural at Abbotsford Regional Hospital provides a way for parents to acknowledge their babies’ births while raising funds for the Fraser Valley Health Care Foundation (FVHCF).

The project, called the Baby Balloon Recognition Program, was officially launched last week in the hospital’s maternity ward.

It involves parents making a minimum donation of $250. In exchange, their baby’s name, birth date and weight will be inscribed on a balloon that will be displayed on the “baby wall.”

Double balloons honour the birth of twins.

Parents will receive a matching balloon magnet as a keepsake.

Also as part of the project, the FVHCF will ensure that, when a baby dies, a butterfly with the child’s name is added to the mural.

The painting is an expansion of an existing mural in the maternity ward located on the wall opposite the new design.

Both murals have been funded by Jack and Sieglinde Koning of Abbotsford in memory of their daughter Julia Carter, who died in 2004 at Royal Columbian Hospital in New Westminster while giving birth to her daughter, Alexis, now 10.

Well-known local artist Dean Lauze painted both murals.

The new design features a large tree from which pink and blue ribbons extend across the wall.

The plan is for the ribbons to eventually extend around the corner, through the maternity ward and into the pediatric ward.

“We see this as a really big project over the years,” said Jessica Boldt, development officer with the FVHCF during the launch event.

Funds raised from the project will go toward the needs of the hospital’s maternity and neonatal intensive care unit.

For more information, visit fvhcf.org or call 604-851-4890.