iwk patient spotlight
Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island
Alcide Costard and his family travelled from Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, to receive life saving treatment at the IWK.
In 2009, Alcide’s mom and dad, Lana and Gene, were delighted to discover that they would be welcoming a new baby into their home. At their initial 12 week ultrasound, everything seemed normal. However, Lana’s doctors soon began to have some concerns and referred her to the IWK. At around 16 weeks, and ultrasound performed at the IWK indicated that little Alcide wasn’t growing as fast as he should have. A follow-up ultrasound and amnio test confirmed that their son had an intrauterine growth restriction - baby Alcide wasn’t getting the proper nutrition that he required.
Lana was carefully followed throughout the duration of her pregnancy and after careful consultation with doctors at home and the IWK, Lana and Gene decided to deliver their son via c-section at 37 weeks. Tiny Alcide weighed only 3lbs 10 oz.
At birth, Alcide’s care team at the IWK discovered that he had Vacterl Association, a genetic disorder that affects many body systems. The doctors told Lana and Gene that the first 24 hours were going to be longest and hardest because they weren’t sure if Alcide was going to make it throughout the night. Thankfully, Alcide proved them wrong, and at two days old he underwent his first two major surgeries – one to repair his esophagus, and the second to repair an imperforate anus.
At 11 months old, Alcide was scheduled to undergo his third major surgery, a Tethered Spinal Cord Repair at the IWK. However, on the day of the surgery, a blood test discovered that his kidneys were functioning at less than 18 per cent, which meant he was almost in complete renal failure. Alcide was rushed to the Nephrology unit at the IWK and immediately started treatment.
“The care that our little boy reveived was second to none,” says Gene. “The nurses in the NICU are the most loving and caring people you’ll ever meet.”
Nearly a year later, the spinal surgery was set again and this time it was done successfully.
“Without the IWK, the nurses, the doctors, the equipment and the technology that they have, Alcide wouldn’t be here,” says Lana. “The IWK isn’t a hospital, it’s like a home to us. We owe them everything.”
Today, Alcide is followed by his IWK care team every three months. He is currently doing amazingly well, and is an active, normal, and happy three-year-old boy.
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