Patient Story: Claire & Dharma

As a grandmother, all I wish for is to have healthy and happy grandchildren. You are never prepared when one of them is faced with a health challenge. My granddaughter, Dharma, was born at Health Sciences North (HSN) weighing just 4lbs 14oz. She was in a fragile state and it was over 12 hours before her mother could visit her for the first time in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).

Thanks to the wonderful and specialized care Dharma received by the team at the hospital, she was able to go home with her family healthy after 12 days. The entire staff at the NEO Kids & Family Program were so helpful. Her wonderful pediatrician and all the nurses were professional and comforting – they went above and beyond to ensure us that Dharma was in good hands and would soon be able to go home.

But when Dharma was two years old, we noticed that she was behind the curve for her age group. She underwent an MRI at HSN, but required a second one at SickKids to discover that she suffered a perinatal stroke – a stroke that occurred inside the womb before she was born. We were all shocked, as this was not something we would expect to happen to a baby. It was the MRI that helped determine Dharma’s condition and we are extremely thankful to have access to one in Sudbury – but we know that it would make an even greater difference to have one that is the best in class so that families, like ours, can stay as close to home for care as possible.

The stroke has affected Dharma’s mobility, speech, and motor skills. The great care she received at the NEO Kids Children’s Treatment Centre (CTC) helped Dharma tremendously. There are so many wonderful people at the CTC. The results of Dharma’s therapy were amazing!

I feel lucky to see my seven-year-old grandchild make huge strides. She’s now in grade two and although writing is still difficult for her, she’s thriving and absolutely loves school!

Our family loves the north and enjoy all that is has to offer, like camping, kayaking, sledding, traveling – and great health care. We believe that the growth of the NEO Kids & Family Program is essential. To help children in our community, like my granddaughter Dharma, stay closer to home for care as often as possible, please consider making a gift today!

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