Brier Vincent and her husband, Trevor, of Halifax, NS, were 20 weeks into their pregnancy when they learned their unborn baby girl, Perri, had a duplicated dilated right kidney.
This happens when the kidney has two ureters (a tube) draining the kidney rather than the normal one. Although not life-threatening, it can result in frequent urinary tract infections, backflow of urine into the kidney and, sometimes, kidney damage. In most cases, people do not need treatment, but that would not be true for Perri.
A month after she was born, Perri was admitted to the IWK because she spiked a fever due to having a urinary tract infection (UTI) resulting from complications with her right kidney. The same thing would happen two months later and would happen again several more times by the time she turned two years old.
Because of Perri’s reoccurring UTIs, she underwent surgery at the IWK. Dr. Rodrigo Romao, a former pediatric surgeon at the IWK, attached Perri’s two ureters and placed a temporary ureteral stent (a thin tube that’s placed in the ureter to help drain urine from your kidney) to ensure that no infection set in after her surgery.
The surgery was a huge success, and Perri has had no UTIs or hospital stays since. However, her need for the IWK continues.
When Perri was born, her care team discovered she also had mild-grade spina bifida. With it, a lipoma (benign, fatty growth) at the base of Perri’s back is tethered to her tailbone. As parents, the news was terrifying.
“Will our child ever walk? What will her future look like?” Brier recalls wondering. “All those fears you expect to happen, those really set in for us; she was our first child.”
Thankfully, Perri has met all her developmental milestones and shows no signs of being impacted by her mild-grade spina bifida. “She loves gymnastics, soccer and swimming, but most of all, she loves being a big sister,” says Brier. “She’s a very active kid, and there are never any limitations for her.”
Brier and Trevor are so grateful for Perri’s care and support from Dr. Romao and the IWK that they chose to recognize Dr. Romao by making a gift to the IWK Foundation’s Forever Grateful program in Perri’s name.
“To know that your child is in the hands of professionals is just something that you can’t put a monetary value on,” says Brier. “For us, donating doesn’t say thank you enough, but it’s a way to express our gratitude.”
Forever Grateful, sponsored by belairdirect, allows patients or their families to recognize IWK team members who have impacted care for them or their loved ones. Donations support the most urgent priorities of the IWK, and the honouree(s) will receive an e-card letting them know a gift has been made in their honour.
To make a gift to the Forever Grateful program, please visit www.iwkfoundation.org/forevergrateful.