A new life purpose after the NICU
Mount Sinai Hospital, NICU, newsletter
It was Fall 2012, after 146 days my surviving twin Gabriel, born at 26 weeks gestational, was discharged from the NICU. I left the unit with the certainty that I would be giving back to the hospital that had taken such incredible care of my family.
It took me sometime to process the events that happened and also to adjust to our ‘new normal’ of having Gabriel on home oxygen and countless doctors and therapy appointments. It was around his first birthday that my husband and I made a commitment to start our first initiative and build baskets of essentials to all the families spending the holidays in the unit. It was just the beginning.
As the time passed by, I started to share with the NICU staff how the Family Integrated Care program, FICare, was impacting my life after discharge. We were part of the pilot study and all the learnings from the education sessions, the knowledge and confidence I gained during the hospital stay was coming together in my new role as a mother of a medically fragile child. I felt empowered and I became Gabriel’s biggest advocate, especially after he was diagnosed with cerebral palsy.
(Fabiana Bacchini and Dr. Shoo Lee at the International
Symposium of Neonatology in Bogota, Colombia)
Since then, I have discovered a new purpose to educate families on the benefits of FICare long term and also give the professionals a parent perspective on the positive impact of embracing the program in their own units. I have been very fortunate to be part of the FICare team and be able to speak at medical conferences across Canada and South America.
I believe everything happens for a reason. Growing up I always wanted to make a difference in people’s lives and being a volunteer at Sinai and educating health care professionals and families I hope somehow I can make a difference in the lives of parents going through a very challenging time.