Meet Levi, he was born on June 15th, 2017 at 31 weeks 5 days at McMaster Children’s Hospital. What started out as a seemingly normal prematurity course quickly changed and our lives were turned upside down. Levi was scheduled to receive a routine head US (ultrasound) a week after he was born. The medical team discovered a minor bleed in his brain which we were told was very common for preemies and would be monitored but wasn’t concerning. However, two weeks later during a follow-up head US the bleed had extended into a grade 3 IVH (intraventricular hemorrhage) causing Levi to develop hydrocephalus (a dangerous accumulation of fluid in the brain). We were terrified, our newborn baby was in need of immediate medical attention from the neurosurgery team. Levi needed a shunt (a catheter that redirects the fluid from his brain into his abdominal cavity) to help drain that build-up of fluid and relieve the pressure in his brain.
Levi’s first shunt failed due to infection and he developed meningitis. A second surgery was required to remove the shunt and place a temporary drain while the infection cleared. During this time Levi had a PICC line inserted, was sedated and kept intubated so that he couldn’t pull the tube out himself. Once the infection cleared a second shunt was placed and this surgery was successful.
We were discharged from the hospital on September 30th, 2017 after a 107 day stay at McMaster children’s hospital. Although coming home was wonderful it wasn’t without its own struggles. Levi like many other NICU babies struggled with feeding and weight gain. Slowly over time, things started to normalize for our little family.
Although it’s unknown when/if Levi will require another shunt surgery down the road, for now, we are living each day with tremendous gratitude.
At almost 4 years of age, Levi has been discharged from all services with the exception of neurosurgery which will follow him his entire life. He is happy and thriving! He loves the outdoors and is always looking to master a new skill. Levi continues to amaze us and has certainly surpassed all of our expectations. We couldn’t have imagined a better outcome for him. We are grateful every day for the amazing care we received and continue to receive for Levi.
Thank you to the Guelph wish fund for everything they do for children in our community and for providing our family with this amazing gift. We have not yet used our wish but look forward to doing so in the near future!
-Levi's Mom and Dad