At least 3,000 babies are born at the Victoria General Hospital every years, and one in six spend time in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). The Victoria Hospitals Foundation has launched its first pediatrics-only fundraising initiative in five years with the You are Vital: Pediatrics campaign, which aims to raise $1.8 million for 40 life-saving neonatal and pediatric care monitors. (Victoria Hospitals Foundation)

New campaign launched for life-saving pediatric monitors at Victoria General

$1.8 million needed for life-saving neonatal and pediatric care monitors

Little Eliza May has spent a third of her life in the Victoria General Hospital’s pediatric intensive care unit (PICU).

The seven-year-old has a unique, undiagnosed auto-immune disease and is one of 2,000 pediatric patients treated at the hospital every year, a number that continues to grow.

The hospital is now seeking 40 new monitors to provide life-saving neonatal and pediatric care – technology that costs a whopping $1.8 million.

So to raise the funds, the Victoria Hospitals Foundation has launched a new campaign, You are Vital: Pediatrics – a companion to the foundation’s successful, You are Vital fall campaign for decision-making equipment at Royal Jubilee and Victoria General hospitals.

“We want our children home and healthy. When that’s not possible, and when they need expert medical attention, we want them close, on Vancouver Island, surrounded by their support network,” said Victoria Hospitals Foundation board chair Steve McKerrell.

READ ALSO: Victoria Hospital Foundation kicks off annual fix-a-heart fundraiser

With a growing pediatric population on the Island, the vast majority – 98 per cent – of children are cared for at Victoria General Hospital. Every year, 3,000 babies are born and 2,000 pediatric patients are treated in the hospital.

According to the foundation, one in six newborns spend time in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), and one in eight children require care in the PICU.

And for little Eliza, her time in the PICU is vital. She requires nightly injections to knock down her immune system from its state of overdrive, and if something sets it off, it triggers rashes, joint pain, fevers and hyper-inflammation that compromises her body and lungs.

“The Victoria General Hospital PICU doesn’t get the credit it deserves. They work so hard,” said Stacey Wilkerson, Eliza’s mom. “Right now, they need your help to fund new patient monitors. It’s the equipment we associate most with her care and survival because it showed us how strong she was when fighting for her life.”

The You are Vital: Pediatrics campaign will equip the NICU and PICU with 36 patient monitors that “monitor vital signs at the crib, bassinet or bedside” and four central monitors that provide care teams with a “consolidated, centralized view of every patient’s current status” on things like vital signs, heart rate, breathing and blood pressure.

“We are asking our community to help ensure our pediatric caregivers have the best possible tools so that our littlest and most fragile patients can continue to receive exceptional care, here at home,” McKerrell said. “Our NICU and PICU need new patient monitors.”

The is the foundation’s first pediatrics-only campaign in five years. Contributions are accepted online at victoriahf.ca/vitalkids, by calling 250-519-1750 or mailing to Wilson Block, 1952 Bay St., Victoria BC, V8R 1J8.

To learn more about the Victoria Hospital Foundation, visit victoriahf.ca.

READ ALSO: Victoria Hospitals Foundation Visions gala raises record-breaking cash

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

15-year-old Nanaimo singer who had viral Facebook video releases single

Lauren Spencer-Smith recently appeared on American comedian Steve Harvey’s talk show

Meet Clover the Commonwealth Cat

Feline has made Saanich Commonwealth Place a second home

Column: Rest in peace, customer service

Customer service on the phone is often lacking; online it’s nearly non-existent

Margaret Atwood coming to UVic to discuss ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ sequel

‘The Testaments’ comes 34 years after release of famous novel, now a Hulu series

QUIZ: Test your knowledge of Victoria Day

How much do you know about the monarch whose day we celebrate each May?

Search crews rescue kids, 6 and 7, stranded overnight on Coquitlam mountain

The father and two youngesters fell down a steep and treachorous cliff while hiking on Burke Mountain

Raptors beat Bucks 118-112 in 2OT thriller

Leonard has 36 points as Toronto cuts Milwaukee’s series lead to 2-1

Two cats die in house fire in Nanaimo

Fire happened just after 2 p.m. Sunday on Fifth Street, one resident displaced

‘Teams that win are tight’: B.C. Lions search for chemistry at training camp

The Lions added more than 50 new faces over the off-season, from coaching staff to key players

Rescue crews suspend search for Okanagan kayaker missing for three days

71-year-old Zygmunt Janiewicz was reported missing Friday

B.C. VIEWS: Reality of our plastic recycling routine exposed

Turns out dear old China wasn’t doing such a great job

Carbon dioxide at highest levels for over 2.5 million years, expert warns of 100 years of disruption

CO2 levels rising rapidly, now higher than at any point in humanity’s history

RCMP arrest violent offender on Vancouver Island

Campbell River police struggle with suspect and take him down with a taser

Most Read