top of page

Lisa: How You Saved My Child's Life

Hi, my name is Lisa.

I want to tell you a story about how you helped save my child’s life.

A few years ago I gave birth to my first child at Sault Area Hospital. I received incredible care, exactly what I expected from our Hospital. It was everything I was prepared for and when Thatcher was born healthy, I couldn’t have asked for anything more. Going into my second pregnancy, I know I wanted it to be the same if not better being an experienced mother, but they always tell you that no two pregnancies are the same.

I had met with my Obstetrician early in the day. I knew my son would be born soon but there was no indication at my appointment that when I went home I would start feeling the contractions. They weren’t like how I had remembered them. They were sharp and erratic and although I knew I was supposed to wait until they were a certain length apart, my husband Clayton insisted I go to the Sault Area Hospital.

By 8pm I was admitted and was getting acquainted with Riley.

Riley was my delivery nurse, she helped me through everything that was about to happen. We were just talking and suddenly the sharp contractions were back. Although I didn’t know immediately why the contractions were so different I later learned that my son wasn’t getting oxygen and they needed to act quick. In a flash I was off to the operating room in the Maternal Child Department for an emergency C-Section. Although I was very anxious and scared, it was calming to see everyone around me was working together. There was a sense of urgency but no one was panicking.

Dr. Dopp gave me a spinal block so Clayton could be in the room with me. Dr. Gupta, who I distinctly remember hearing had parked illegally on the way in, delivered my son. Dr. Zufelt was there to resuscitate him. The whole surgery, Dr. Dopp was there relaying information to Clayton and I. My son had been without oxygen for about seven minutes but they were able to resuscitate him and he was heading over to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) to receive care.

Surgery had felt like an eternity. I was so happy to have Clayton there with me, Dr Dopp keeping us informed, and all the other healthcare professionals together with one thing in mind, to care for my child. It was a very different experience from Thatcher’s birth, but everyone worked with such fluidity to save Sawyer, my newborn son. It was the most terrifying moment of my life, but there were incredible acts of professionalism and kindness shown to my family that day and they didn’t stop there.

They brought my bed into the NICU to see Sawyer. After I had rested up a bit they put me in a wheel chair and let me stay with Sawyer as he waited to be transferred to the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO). Sawyer was on a cooling protocol to prevent his brain from swelling, so I stayed with him until he left for Ottawa, with Clayton, to get the specialized care he needed for the swelling, the injury to his brain and to improve his condition after being resuscitated. While Sawyer was in Sault Ste. Marie, the NICU did everything for both him and I, to make sure we could be together as long as possible.

When Sawyer left for Ottawa, Riley suggested Thatcher come to SAH and spend time with me while I stayed here in the Hospital. I met with Franca, a social worker, to learn more about the accommodation for families near CHEO. They managed to transfer me to Ottawa General to be near Sawyer. I was allowed to reduce my stay from three days in our Hospital to just one as I was making my way to Ottawa.

My short stay at SAH was filled with moments that I can only characterize as over the top, compassionate and simply amazing. I ask myself, would I have received that anywhere else? The care was excellent, but even more impressive was everything else, the fluidity of their teamwork, the way I was kept informed and the moments I got to spend with my son considering the circumstances. I can only characterize the care we received as special because it was so incredibly special to me.

Sawyer is almost two years old now; he’s a happy, energetic little boy. He spent two and a half weeks at CHEO receiving specialized care before we all got to come home. Now Dr. Zufelt, the physician that was there to resuscitate him and watch his first breath, is now Sawyer’s pediatrician. Me and my family will be forever grateful for the care we received at Sault Area Hospital.

Your donations made sure our Hospital and the healthcare professionals had the equipment needed to take care of me and my son, and for that my family thanks you.

We donate to the Sault Area Hospital Foundation because we know how important it is to have great medical equipment in our community. It’s needed every day, and every once in a while, it’s needed in an emergency. I don’t want to think of what would happen when we don’t have it.

I give because I’m grateful for the care that not only I received as a patient, but that my family receives when they are in need; I give because iCcare.



bottom of page