Voluntography – June (again!)

This summer is busy, but fortunately I was able to catch up with the McVey family for a session just prior to their discharge. I originally met Alana and Adam during one of my family mentoring shifts at the Royal Alex Hospital. Jack and Elliott were born the day before we met at just 25 weeks gestation and mom and dad were understandably a bit overwhelmed. Over the coming months, I would repeatedly have the chance to catch up with these guys at the Royal Alex, Ronald McDonald House and later on unit 5G4 of the Stollery Children’s Hospital.


Jack and Elliot’s first encounter with Santa at RMH

The McVey’s have had an incredibly long journey here in Edmonton, but they are finally heading home!!


Meet Elliott and Jack



Here’s what Alana wrote when I asked about their story.

Jack and Elliott were born at 25 weeks gestation.  When they were born they were not quite 1lb 12oz each.  Both Jack and Ellie were intubated and had respiratory issues as a result of their prematurity.  For the first 6 weeks, Ellie required a lot of respiratory assistance and has several says where we were worried that we would lose her.  Once she was extubated at 6 weeks, she made great strides and was discharged March 13 after 121 days in NICU.  Jack was much stronger initially, but after a few attempts to extubate, it became clear that something was wrong.  Jack underwent 9 trials of extubation in total, but a consult with an Ear Nose Throat specialist showed that the breathing tube had caused a lot of swelling, damage and narrowing in Jack’s airway.  After 119 days of being extubated, Jack transferred from the Royal Alexandra to the U of A for a tracheostomy to get him extubated and start the process of his airway healing.  Jack will likely have the tracheostomy for about a year.


Their parents nailed it when they predicted J would be discharged after 219 days!


Elliott was in her element.


Jack handled the session beautifully and then he was spent. 

Small and mighty is only the tip of the iceberg for these two little warriors and their parents. I’m so glad that this family has finally had the chance to go home and spend time altogether. Wishing them all the best!

If you would like to learn more about the McVey’s story check out Minute by Minute, Day by Day over on the RMH website.

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