You Can Change a Child's Life

Calvin and Katharina faced an uphill battle for their lives

I found out I was pregnant on Christmas Day. It was the best present I could have hoped for.

But I didn't expect that I would be delivering two babies just five months later.

I could never have anticipated how many nights my family would spend in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Children’s Hospital.

I didn’t know my babies were going to face an uphill battle for their lives.

26 Weeks and 3 Days

About three months before my due date I went into labour. 

Just an hour after the contractions ramped up, my placenta ruptured. I was wheeled into the operating room. With no time to spare, I delivered Calvin and Katharina 10 minutes apart without any pain medication.

The twins faced many complicationsThe twins weighed less than two pounds each. From the get-go, our Children’s Hospital nurses were the most incredible caregivers we could have hoped for. They became our second family as we spent day after day in the NICU watching our babies struggle to live.

Being so premature, you won’t be surprised to hear both Calvin and Katharina faced many medical complications.

Calvin in particular had a very difficult time.

A True Miracle

Calvin experienced hernias, surgeries, sepsis and more throughout his time at Children's HospitalCalvin developed two hernias in his groin and needed multiple surgeries. He experienced severe post-surgical complications: sepsis and organ failure.

He had to be on a respirator for a chronic lung condition, called bronchopulmonary dysplasia, and suffered some brain damage related to his prematurity.

Your heart feels like it drops out of your body when someone tells you your child probably isn’t going to make it. There are no words to describe that sadness and fear.

But the incredible care of the staff at Children’s Hospital helped him beat every odd. He truly is a miracle.

304 Days Later

After 304 days, Calvin was discharged and returned home to West LorneDoctors in the NICU weren’t sure Calvin would survive. But with donor support, they could provide life-saving care to save him.

Not only did we have the expertise and compassion of the medical staff, but our babies benefited so much from the specialized NICU equipment that CHF donors help to purchase. Calvin also got to take part in donor-funded Music Therapy.

Donors to CHF made such a difference for our twins.

Home This Christmas

I am eternally grateful for the care our family received at Children’s Hospital. And today, I’m beyond thrilled to have both Calvin and Katharina home.

They’re both extremely snuggly little toddlers. They absolutely adore bath time – and have since their earliest days in the NICU. Calvin loves getting his head rubbed, and Katharina is an extremely social little girl who wants to know everything that’s going on.

They’re absolutely perfect… And they’re still here with us thanks in large part to the incredible support of CHF supporters.

Today, I’m hoping you’ll give another family the same chance you gave mine: the chance to stay together, to heal, and to defy the odds through exceptional health care.

Charlotte is grateful to have her twins home for Christmas this year.Will you make a gift to CHF now so that every child across Western Ontario can receive the best possible care? Remember, every dollar you give today will have double the impact thanks to a special matching gift from Sunningdale Golf & Country Club!

Thank you for ensuring more families will be able to celebrate whole and healthy this holiday season.


Charlotte Hughes

Proud mother of Calvin and Katharina, NICU miracle babies