Clinging to Life after Premature Birth

Cash as a baby in the NICU

Tracy was 29 weeks into her pregnancy when she encountered her first complication.

“The doctor discovered a lack of blood flow from the placenta to the baby,” explains Tracy, who was visiting McMaster Children’s Hospital. “The baby was not receiving sufficient nutrients, which was a dangerous situation.”

The bumpy road

Tracy underwent an emergency C-section and her son Cash was born 11 weeks early, weighing 1,290 grams.

“Cash’s lungs were extremely weak,” recalls Tracy. “He relied heavily on CPAPs (continuous positive airway pressure ventilators) to help him breathe until his lungs strengthened.”

The team in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) helped Cash through numerous health complications. He had a low hemoglobin count, which can lead to breathing and heart issues, so he underwent three blood transfusions and a platelet transfusion. Cash also required surgery to repair a hernia.

Continued care

“It was wonderful when we could take Cash home after nearly three months in the NICU,” says Tracy. “But because he experienced some developmental delays, especially with his gross motor skills, we needed to visit McMaster Children’s Hospital regularly for testing until he was four.”

“I’m so proud of him, and we’re extremely grateful for the amazing care that he’s received.”

Cash continued to grow and gain strength over the next few years. He soon began to catch up with his physical development and started to meet his milestones.

MacKid Cash. Photo by Alexis Burton Photography.

Giving back with gratitude

“He’s seven years old now and he’s doing very well. He’s an active boy who loves to play the drums and practice karate. This is all possible thanks to the expertise of his care team.”

Tracy and her husband Quentin taught their son the importance of giving back to the community by supporting McMaster Children’s Hospital Foundation and helping other patients in need.

“At his seventh birthday party, Cash asked his friends to support the Foundation with a donation instead of giving him gifts,” says Tracy. “I’m so proud of him, and we’re extremely grateful for the amazing care that he’s received.”