Three years ago our son, Fenton was born at 9 lbs 7 oz, 42 weeks and seemingly healthy and strong. Three days later we rushed him to CHEO as he had symptoms of a blockage in his bowels and was barely responsive. The emergency staff was swift, calm, and reassuring when we were confused and reeling.
Before we knew it, Fenton was being whisked off to the operating room to correct an intestinal malrotation. We were told it would be a one to two hour procedure, possibly longer if there were any complications. We waited for almost five hours. I prayed the entire time. When the surgeon, Dr. Cowan, came out to report a successful surgery, he told us that when they went to correct his intestinal malrotation, they discovered a large part of his intestines were completely twisted, and if we had waited any longer to bring Fenton in, the results would have been devastating.
All I know is that we are lucky that Fenton is with us today, and I will forever be thankful for Dr. Cowan and everyone else who was a part of the team that saved our baby boy's life. Fenton stayed in the NICU for three weeks. It was painful at times, as there were days when he didn't do so well, but overall I have fond memories of enjoying firsts with my newborn there in the NICU. We were allowed to be with him as much as needed, and the nurses were so supportive. I remember watching other babies come in, stay for a few nights and then they would get to go home, and I would wonder when our turn would come. Through all of that the nurses encouraged me to just focus on my baby and enjoy the quiet moments, just like we were at home.
There were days I would come in and find a nurse cuddling my baby "just because", and I was so grateful that he was given such loving care when I couldn't be there. I will never forget the nurse Cheryl Charbonneau who was with us when we were told Fenton could come home. Cheryl was so kind and positive during Fenton's stay. I cried tears of joy when I got the news, and she hugged me and celebrated with me. She sent us home with a beautiful quilt, which we have tucked away in a special box full of Fenton's most precious baby items.
Today Fenton is a healthy, brilliant, energetic three year old who fills our days with excitement. He loves hearing the story about the scars on his tummy. He adores his little brother Walker, loves to be outside, and manages to charm the hearts of everyone he meets. Not a day goes by that we don't wonder how empty life would be without this amazing little person. We are so grateful for our children's health, and for CHEO providing us with amazing care and an environment where we could still enjoy the excitement of new parenthood under exceptional circumstances.