A Sarnia woman’s dying wish to hold her newborn granddaughter before she passed was granted recently thanks to a loving family, modern technology and a remarkable effort by staff at Bluewater Health.
Mary, whose last name is being withheld at the family’s request, spent her final three months at the Sarnia hospital and died from pulmonary hypertension on March 12.
Mary was a woman who always put her family first, whether by hosting events, organizing get-togethers or opening her home to those in need, said her daughter Laura.
And she loved to sew, knit, paint and do almost any craft she could think of to make special items for others.
“My mom wanted to be a grandmother for years,” she said.
Laura’s expected date of delivery was March 7, but as Mary’s health continued to fail hospital staff were made aware of the situation.
Knowing time was running out on the family’s hopes, the staff pulled a few strings behind the scenes.
It began with an ultrasound. The charge nurse in the maternal infant unit asked Laura if she wanted to have a special 3-D ultrasound done in London, allowing Bluewater IT staff to stream a live, three-dimensional image of the baby directly into Mary’s hospital room.
Laura was overwhelmed by the gesture, she said.
“I’m eight months pregnant and I’m in my office, crying.”
That decision allowed Mary, by then receiving oxygen through a tracheotomy tube, to see an image of her unborn grandchild for the first time.
A week later, hospital staff followed up with another ultrasound, this time right in Mary’s room.
But the goal of everyone involved was for Mary to have an opportunity to meet and touch the baby herself, one last chance for the three generations to say hello — and goodbye.
After Laura consulted with her doctor it was decided to try and induce labour early. Following three failed attempts at induction, the baby girl was born by cesarean section on the night of March 6.
By then, Mary was in the palliative care ward and slipping in and out of consciousness.
But the next day the new grandma’s wish came true when she was introduced to baby Jordan, a seven-pound, nine-ounce bundle of joy with blue eyes and a full mop of dark hair.
Laura said she believes her mother hung on for one reason — to see and hold her first and only grandchild.
Mary died five day later on March 12 at the age of 71.
“It was such a happy and a horrible, sad time all at once,” Laura recalled.
She added that she and husband Wayne remain grateful for the extra effort the hospital made during Mary’s final weeks.
“There are good people that work at various places that do good things,” she said, “because they’re good people.”