Taking Care of the Sickest Kids

The opening of NICU North is the first step to completely transform the way the IWK cares for the Maritime's sickest children.

Over the next two years, the IWK Foundation will be working hand-in-hand with you, our donors, to raise the remaining funds to transform the second open-bay NICU into NICU South, and to completely revolutionize the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU).

In the spring of 2019, NICU South will be completed, bringing the total number of single rooms for NICU families from 19 to 38.

In 2020, the new PICU will open. This world-class unit will transform the open-bay unit to 10 single, private rooms so families of the most ill pediatric patients will be able to stay with them day and night. Like the NICU, these rooms will allow for better protection from infection, reduced noise exposure and increased privacy – changing the lives of critically-ill patients, like AJ Gillis.

AJ’s journey with the IWK began even before he was born. During an ultrasound at 13-weeks, parents Amy Bishara-Gillis and Joe Gillis of Yarmouth, NS, were told that AJ would be born with a congenital diaphragmatic hernia. AJ’s bowels and stomach were pushed up into his lungs and his heart was displaced. AJ was born at the IWK and transferred to the NICU. Within hours his heart started to fail and AJ’s family found themselves surrounded by 19 doctors and nurses with one goal – to save their little son’s life.

You are helping to change the lives of our most critically-ill patients and our community for generations to come.

Pictured: AJ Gillis, IWK patient

AJ was immediately rushed to the PICU. Five days later AJ’s heart function began to improve.

He was now strong enough to undergo surgery to repair his hernia. After spending two months in PICU, AJ was transitioned to an inpatient unit for another seven weeks before joining his older sisters at home. He went home with the assistance of a feeding tube to help him grow and develop. Today he is thriving.

Donors, like you, played a part in every step of his journey, including the Ron Joyce Operating Suites and equipment that AJ needed to survive. You are helping to change the lives of our most critically-ill patients and our community for generations to come.


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IWK Health Centre Charitable Foundation Charitable Number: 867558090RR0001