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Grayson’s 271 Days in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit


For Lana and Mark Hardwick of Welland, the birth of their son Grayson was fraught with difficulties from the outset. Lana was rushed to McMaster Children’s Hospital on July 27, 2014, after she was diagnosed with preeclampsia, which is a disorder of pregnancy characterized by high blood pressure that increases the chances of poor outcomes for the mother and the baby.
 

“Everything was happening so fast,” recalls Lana. “It was one of the scariest moments of my life and everything felt surreal.”
 

Grayson was born five days later on August 1, 2014 via emergency C-section. Only 26 weeks along, he weighed 1 pound, 13 ounces. He was also suffering from respiratory distress syndrome, which resulted in difficulties breathing, so he was intubated and put on a ventilator for the first two months of his life.
 

“It was heartbreaking to see our son Grayson facing so many struggles right off the bat,” says Mark. “Unfortunately, even more serious roadblocks were to come.”
 

An additional medical challenge was discovered – volvulus, or an obstruction of the intestine caused by twisting. As a result, an inadequate amount of blood was reaching the small bowel. Under the care of pediatric surgeon Dr. Mark Walton and neonatologist Dr. Jennifer Twiss, Grayson underwent a bowel resection that saw one third of his intestine removed. His stomach was also closed off surgically and he was fed directly into his intestine for six months.
 

“We received an amazing level of care and support at McMaster Children’s Hospital during such a stressful time,” says Lana.
 

Grayson would have four major surgeries to correct his twisted intestine, with his stomach eventually being surgically reconnected to his intestines so he could begin to receive nourishment orally. Grayson stayed in the neonatal intensive care unit for 271 days and was discharged on April 28, 2015.
 

Thanks to the care he received at McMaster Children’s Hospital, Grayson is now a healthy and active toddler who looks forward to exciting new adventures every day.
 

“I think it’s important for donors to support McMaster Children’s Hospital Foundation because it helps patients like Grayson receive the best care possible,” says Mark.
 

 

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