In June 2020, Whitney and Matthew Reid along with their daughter Julie took the big leap of faith to move across the country from Saskatchewan all the way to Truro, Nova Scotia to take up their responsibilities as the Salvation Army Ministers in their community. Whitney was also expecting twins. Only two weeks after arriving, Whitney’s water broke, and they were sent to the IWK for observation. Katie and Emily arrived six weeks early and were taken to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) for observation.
Baby Katie required a feeding tube, and both were placed under phototherapy lights to treat jaundice. After several days in the NICU, one of the lead nurses was concerned about the shape of Katie’s head and had a neurosurgeon come take a look. He was concerned about both the girl’s heads, so they began to watch closely and booked a follow-up appointment.
“I didn’t know what the IWK was until we needed it. As a minister I am always trying to encourage people to lean on God when they need it, I knew I needed to do the same. We were just thankful we were in the right place at the IWK to help us during unsettling times with regards to our kid’s health concerns,” says Whitney.
After 11 days Emily and Katie reached a healthy newborn weight and were able to go home. In September the Reid twins had a follow-up appointment where they were both diagnosed with Sagittal Craniosynostosis – they did not have a soft spot on their heads, and they were growing more oval-shaped instead of round. At just three months old, both Katie and Emily underwent surgery.
“I’m also amazed how the staff thinks of the little things even amidst a major surgery. Dr. Walling and Dr. Bezuhly kept their hair in a bag for us for their first haircuts prior to their surgery. The IWK staff explained everything to us along the way and they consistently gave us updates on how the surgery was going. I couldn’t be happier with their support,” shares Whitney.
After surgery, both girls needed to wear helmets to ensure their heads grew properly. They visited the IWK weekly to get their helmets checked and fitted. At eight months old the girl’s helmets were removed. While the initial surgery was a success for Emily, Katie would need another surgery. In April 2021, Katie underwent much more invasive procedure, but thankfully she did not have to wear a helmet afterward.
The girls turned one this past June and are flourishing! Their growth is on-track, and they love getting into mischief. Emily is walking all the time and doesn’t stop, Katie although she doesn’t walk quite yet is a great climber. They both love adore their big-sister Julie and love spending time with her (especially in her room when she’s at school).