Grateful Dad Says “All Kids Deserve Care” His Son Received At Children’s

When Brad MacDougall’s family needed specialized health care, they thought they might have to travel far from home to find it. But, thanks to years of careful forethought and investment by donors, Children’s Hospital at London Health Sciences Centre turned out to be the ideal spot.

Just before the birth of Brad’s second child, Nicholas, their health care team found a cause for concern.

“He was identified as a high risk for Craniosynostosis, a birth defect affecting 1 in 2,500 kids in which the bones in the skull join too early, in the womb,” Brad explains. 

When the bones in the skull fuse too early, a child’s brain growth can be restricted. Untreated, craniosynostosis can lead to both physical and neurological development issues such as visual impairment, abnormal head and facial shapes, eating difficulties, sleep impairment, and even mental underdevelopment.  

However, because the family’s health care team caught the condition early, plans could be made to avoid any developmental problems. Treating craniosynostosis requires a surgical procedure — especially delicate considering Nicholas’s tiny, fragile state.

Brad MacDougall shares his story at A Night to Remember.

“At the time we researched alternative care options in Canada and the United States and learned that the most advanced care was available in London,” Brad says.

“At birth, a critical care team was onsite to diagnose his condition and immediately prepare for a miracle cranial vault surgery when he turned one that ultimately preserved his long-term health and might have saved his life.”

Brad credits the investments made in paediatric health care at Children’s Hospital by private donors with helping Nicholas’s case.

“Nicholas was released one week after surgery and other than a few routine checkups has never been back to the hospital to receive care for his condition,” he says. “Without the support of private donations, the outcome for Nicholas could have been much different. All our kids deserve the care and treatment that Nicholas received.”

Nicholas is now a thriving five-year-old who is, along with his sister Jenna, Brad’s greatest joy.

Brad MacDougall with Children’s Health Foundation’s Director of Legacy Giving, Vicki Hayter.

As a result, Brad has become a grateful and engaged supporter of Children’s Health Foundation, joining the foundation’s Legacy Advisors Committee. He has shared his family’s experiences to help raise funds, including organizing A Night to Remember, an evening of fine wines, culinary delights, and education from Drs. Craig Campbell, Chair Physician Executive Lead, and the surgeon who performed Nicholas’ surgery, Sandrine de Ribaupierre, Paediatric Neurosurgeon. The event, held at the exclusive London Hunt & Country Club, has raised to date just under $200,000 for Children’s Health Foundation, but Brad doesn’t want to stop there. He hopes to continue inspiring others to donate to the hospital that gave the best possible care to his son.

The dedication of grateful families like Brad’s helps ensure that the investments in care are made so that when more kids like Nicholas come along, they won’t have to look farther than home to get the advanced care they need. If you too would like to leave a legacy to improve kids heath care, please connect with us at  

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