Why We Exist
Baby Sullivan was delivered 4 months early at 25 weeks and 5 days, by caesarean section, weighing just 1 lb, 7.5 ounces.
Sullivan had multiple health factors associated with his very early delivery. His mom, Emily, also experienced complications during her pregnancy including preeclampsia and severe back pain. After delivery, what was thought to have been a slipped disc in Emily’s back, was diagnosed as three large cancerous tumours.
Unfortunately, with Emily’s serious health complications and her starting chemotherapy treatments after Sullivan born, the decision was made to put Sullivan on pasteurized donor human milk from NorthernStar Mothers Milk Bank (formerly Calgary Mothers Milk Bank).
With Emily and Sullivan each receiving treatments in different hospitals, Justin was unable to continue working. Emily was undergoing chemotherapy while Sullivan had multiple operations associated with his premature delivery. Sullivan relied on pasteurized donor human milk to provide not only nutrients, but also protection to his fragile immune and gastrointestinal systems. Due to Sullivan’s long-term hospital stay, he surpassed the age that the hospital would cover donor human milk, leaving his dad Justin to cover the cost. Justin reached out to NorthernStar Mothers Milk Bank and was accepted into the Charitable Care program to ensure Sullivan would continue to receive the life-saving donor milk his body needed free of charge.
When Sullivan turned 10 months old, he lost his mom to cancer.
Shortly after, Sullivan was able to leave the hospital and be at home with his dad. Because of his long term intubation, Sullivan built-up scar tissue in his esophagus causing it to narrow, making swallowing difficult. As a result most of his caloric intake was from pasteurized donor human milk through a tube in his stomach. He continued to receive donor human milk until he was 18 months old.
We encourage you to watch the beautiful video on Baby Sullivan and learn more about our Charitable Care Program by visiting our website.