Family hosting fundraiser to help families with children in hospital
Most parents with newborns are busy dealing with sleep deprivation, adjusting to life with a new baby and enjoying all the precious moments a new life brings with it.
That is not the case for Grenville resident Bianca Rollin and her family.
Instead of late night feedings and hourly diaper changes, Rollin spends her days and nights sitting next to a hospital bed at Sainte-Justine Hospital in Montreal praying her 28-day-old daughter, Kamille, doesn't die.
"It's really hard," Rollin told The Review during an interview on Monday, September 17. "She nearly passed away last week, that's how sick she is right now. I'm just praying and praying that she's going to be okay."
When she was only five months pregnant with Kamille, Rollin found out there was something very wrong with her baby girl - she had gastroschisis a defect of the abdominal (belly) wall.
The baby's intestines stick outside of the baby's body, through a hole beside the belly button. The hole can be small or large and sometimes other organs, such as the stomach and liver, can also stick outside of the baby's body.
"We were devastated," Rollin said. "I was very concerned because I didn't know if she would be normal and healthy."
Doctors told Rollin her baby would be fine but would need surgery soon after birth to place the abdominal organs inside the baby's body and repair the defect.
Kamille made it through the surgery, but complications arose from the installation of a central catheter.
"Basically, my daughter ended up with an extremely serious infection," Rollin explained. "The infection was basically eating her blood platelets, which is bad. I mean, it's worse than bad, it's just horrible."
As a result of the infection, the little girl required blood transfusions every six hours just to survive.
"I was worried about her before she was born because I didn't want to cause her any pain or see her suffer in any way," Rollin said. "Then I give birth to her and all of this happens. She's suffering and she's in pain. It's not fair."
Rollin said Kamille is getting better day-by-day, despite the fact that the infection nearly took her life last week. This week, Rollin said Kamille is showing some improvement - eating some milk and only requiring one blood transfusion a day.
"She's slowly getting better," Rollin commented. "Doctors say she should pull through this and be just fine. I want to believe them, I really do."
Unfortunately, Rollin and her family are having financial trouble because of the amount of time they are spending at the hospital with Kamille.
"You might not think of it this way, but it costs a lot of money to stay at the hospital with a sick child," she explained. "My husband and I ran into some trouble and it became very difficult for us financially."
Rollin got to thinking she likely wasn't the only parent experiencing financial hardship as a result of having a sick child in the hospital. That's when she decided to organize a fundraiser to help parents in need.
"I started talking to staff at the hospital and they said for sure we weren't the only ones going through this," Rollin said. "In fact, a nurse told me probably 75 per cent of parents are in the exact same boat as us."
A barbecue fundraiser will be held at 37 Cercle Grenier in Grenville this Saturday, September 22 and Sunday, September 23 from noon to 7 p.m. All proceeds raised will be donated to parents in need of some financial assistance while they stay with their sick children in hospital.
"It's hard enough seeing your child sick and in the hospital," Rollin remarked. "Parents shouldn't have to worry about money while they're trying to help their children. Every little bit helps and I truly hope that this gives parents some peace of mind. I want to do anything I can to help because I know what these parents are going through and how they feel."