Annual Report 2019 - A New Beginning

A New Beginning

Not so long ago, a new Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) opened at the IWK, allowing families and their newborns to stay together.

Imagine as a parent you must leave your tiny baby at night because there is no place for you to sleep by your child’s side. The walk to the parking lot is heart-breaking.

You don’t have to imagine that anymore, thanks to the generosity of 749 donors. These donors have funded a world-class unit where families become an active part of their baby’s care. From sleeping in the rooms with their precious child, to participating in medical rounds, to partnering with the nurse and healthcare team—families can now be there every step of the way.

This summer, NICU South opened completing the amazing 100 per cent donor-funded NICU transformation at the IWK. This brings the total number of private rooms for NICU families to 38, making a huge impact on patient outcomes and all families that require intensive care for their newborns—families like Eleri Pembridge’s.

When Eleri was born, she was covered with a red rash and blue spots. The doctors initially thought she may have caught a virus in utero, but a blood test showed that her white blood cell counts were extremely high. Eleri had leukemia.

Eleri was immediately airlifted from Fredericton, NB, to the IWK where she was diagnosed with congenital pre-B cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia. She was admitted to NICU North. At just five days old, Eleri started chemotherapy, beginning what will be a year-long hospital stay to receive four rounds of intensive chemotherapy. Halfway through her treatment, Eleri’s family received the wonderful news that her cancer is in remission.

Although they still have a long road ahead, Eleri’s parents, Deana Sarchfield and Adrian Pembridge, dream of the day when Eleri can join her three older sisters, Seren, Elin and Nia, at home where she will continue the maintenance phase of her treatment in partnership with the IWK.

Learn more about Eleri's story at

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IWK Health Centre Charitable Foundation Charitable Number: 867558090RR0001