As the mother of five children, one of whom is gravely ill, I’ve been navigating the healthcare system for several years now. As a licensed practical nurse by training, I like to be there for my patients. At the end of the day, I like knowing that I’ve possibly made a difference for at least one person who really needed it.
In 2009, a little person came into our lives who taught us the true meaning of the word “courage.” Why, you ask? Because our treasure was born with several heart defects. And so began our great adventure: high-risk pregnancy; genetics clinic; fetal cardiology; intensive care; procedures, surgeries and clinics; nutrition; physiotherapy; ENT; hematology; hepatology, and the list goes on and on. There were several nights when we were terrified for his life! We learned to live with the constant fear of all the appointments, restrictions and lack of money because of all our hospital stays. But, more than that, we learned to live one day at a time, see the beautiful things in life, stop and smell the flowers, feel the sun’s warmth, be amazed by every little victory, and live in the present. And, personally, I got to know myself a lot better. I discovered an inner strength I didn’t know I had and I developed a sense of compassion for my neighbour.
You know, when you have a child who’s different, you don’t always know how to help. My way of helping him is to join the Comité d’humanisation des soins aux soins intensifs [ICU Humanization of Care Committee] and the wonderful UC team. It makes me feel like I can help all the superheroes of this world, by being their voice, the person who will defend them, help them and stand up for them. Together, we can help the kids and their families overcome these challenges. So, yes, I believe in the UC! I believe that, together, we can change things, or at least improve them!