Bloom in Support of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit presented their seventh annual donation to Saskatoon’s NICU Department Tuesday afternoon at Royal University Hospital (RUH).
A total of $61,000 was raised through a variety of fundraisers over the past year, making it their largest donation to date.
“It seems every year we do it and we set these goals in our head and it always blows us away with how much we wind up raising in the end,” Bloom executive director and co-founder Amy Novakovski said.
“My son was born at 36 weeks, he’s a twin, he was born not breathing and for me to experience something traumatic and life changing, I felt it so very important to give back to (the NICU). They saved his life and their my angels.”
“Our children were in the NICU, which is why we do it. We just want to be able to help them provide the best care possible,” said Tina Searcy, who is also one of the co-founders of Bloom.
Money from last years donation went towards 20 NicView Cameras. The technology allows families to stay connected with their baby regardless of where the family might be. This is the first set-up of it’s kind in Canada.
“It’s a peace of mind, this is what we bring to the parents who cannot be here,” said Laurentiou Givelichian, who is the department of pediatrics provincial head.
“You can imagine what it means for them to be able to visualize their babies all the time and to make sure everything is going good.”
The NICU plans to purchase more cameras with this years donation as well as improve other equipment.
“I think (the camera’s) are life changing and we’ve talked to quite a few parents that have been able to access it and they’ve said that it’s amazing, it’s just amazing for the unit to have,” Novakovski said.
More than $250,000 has been raised since the charity began.
“With the money donated, we’ve been able to enhance the type of equipment we have and to improve the health of our babies in the unit,” Givelichian said.
“With the rest of the money we’ve been able to improve and enhance the patient and family experience, so this unit here has one of the best experiences for our families and to be able to enjoy the time here despite the fact that they’re going through the hardship of their babies being in the intensive care areas.”
And while this year’s donation was just presented, organizers are already looking forward to next years donation.
“I don’t think that we ever could’ve imagined that that’s what it would be, as I said, Tina and I have always dreamt big and to know that we’ve hit that mark, I think it just leaves us speechless. As the years go by, we’re hoping to reach half a million and eventually a million and keep going bigger,” Novakovski said.
“It’s our goal to keep growing and keep giving more and more money every year to help these guys. These guys are our angels on earth and we want to help them,” Searcy added.