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Furnishing & Equipping Our New NICU

Turcotte Family

"This can't be happening again..."

Read the Turcotte Family's NICU Story

“This can’t be happening again…”

That was my first thought when my water broke. I struggled to remain calm, but the thought that my baby might die was terrifying.

You see, a few years ago my husband, Travis, and I had a pregnancy end tragically when our baby, Ayden, died just eight weeks before her due date. Like this time, it had started with my water breaking much too early.

Losing a child is a nightmare no one ever wants to face. And until you experience it, you have no idea how devastating it is.

So many thoughts ran through my head as I prepared to go to the hospital: Would I be left with the heartbreaking task of introducing Charlee, our 5 year-old daughter, to another sister and telling her that we wouldn’t be able to bring her home because she had died?

Each year, 115 Saskatchewan families experience this type of loss. That’s one baby lost every few days and it’s a club no one wants to join. As a funeral director here in Prince Albert, I’ve seen my share of grief. But nothing before had prepared me for my own grief of losing a baby.

That’s why I’m writing to you today to ask you to make a donation to the Victoria Hospital Foundation so other families like mine have the best possible chance of bringing their beautiful healthy newborn babies home. Families in the North are depending on you.

When my husband and I learned last fall that we were expecting, we were thrilled, but apprehensive. The trauma of losing Ayden still sat heavily in our hearts.

Things were going well, until April when, at only 29 weeks, my water broke prematurely - again.

 I was terrified that we were facing another loss. I sat down and cried and then collected myself, called the Victoria Hospital and talked to the Obstetrics team. The medical team is second to none, and had been closely monitoring my pregnancy.

Because the baby was so early, I was admitted to a hospital in Saskatoon, praying for a miracle and worried about delivering a premature baby during a global pandemic.

Two days later, Addie Jo came into the world kicking and screaming, a “whopping” 3 lbs., 2 oz. Hearing those first cries was the most beautiful sound I’ve ever heard!

We had our miracle, but it would be 47 long days before Addie could come home.

For the first month, Addie wasn’t stable enough to travel back to Prince Albert, so Travis, Charlee and I set up a temporary home in a hotel room in Saskatoon. It wasn’t ideal, and to make matters worse, because of pandemic precautions, many of the resources typically available, were not.

Visits to the hospital were strictly limited, so Charlee wasn’t able to meet her sister. Every time I left the hotel to go to the hospital, I had to explain to her that, no, she couldn’t meet her sister today.

We were determined to get home to Prince Albert as soon as we could. It’s where our families are and where every face is warm and familiar.

I counted the days until Addie could be transferred back to PA.   The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Victoria Hospital is able to care for premature babies between 32 and 34 weeks.

The day she was able to, Addie was safely transported in a special ambulance to the Victoria Hospital in Prince Albert where she would continue to thrive and grow until we could bring her home.

I don’t know if you’ve seen the NICU in Prince Albert. It’s a small, crowded room with space meant for only 4 babies.   Parents sit on tattered chairs facing their baby’s  well used incubators. It’s almost impossible to move around and there’s absolutely no privacy for new parents.

But despite this, Addie’s care was nothing short of amazing. It felt like we were part of a family. We were treated with respect and dignity and given excellent advice and encouragement.

Nothing has become more clear during this global pandemic than the need for excellent healthcare here in our community. That’s why my husband and I are so excited to support Victoria Hospital’s new NICU.  In 2019 the Victoria Hospital Foundation raised 2 million dollars to build a new NICU – I am so proud of my community! Soon, mothers and their babies born in Prince Albert will have a safe, bright, spacious new space to thrive and be cared for, right here at home. The new NICU will be ten times the size of the current one with plenty of space for newborns and their families.  This year, we are fundraising for the best equipment and technology possible for our newborn babies in Prince Albert.

The new NICU for the North is scheduled to open July 2021. But they can’t do it without your support.

Will you invest in health care today by making a gift to the “Little Lives, Local Love” campaign for life saving equipment for our most fragile babies?

Philanthropy makes a huge contribution here in Prince Albert. In fact, you might be as surprised as I was to learn that government funding only goes so far. While it pays for our everyday operations, it doesn’t cover equipment and technology.

The truth is this: name any top hospital in Canada and you’ll discover that behind its continued success, stand thousands of caring people like you and I who love their neighbours and their community.

Imagine the worry and fear of losing child.

Imagine the stress of delivering your baby prematurely, during a pandemic and in a strange city far from home, the discomfort and expense of staying in a hotel with your husband and toddler, just to be near your sick baby.

Now imagine……coming home.

Your generosity ensures our children and mothers like me will receive the very best care, as close to home as possible.

And that care is about so much more than the medicine. It’s the people who make it really special. They greeted me by name every day when I went to spend time with Addie. They knew the tragedy of our second baby’s death and were compassionate and patient when I worried about every little thing. In fact, I think they were just as excited as we were about Addie’s progress.

The nurses would cheer when Addie came close to finishing a bottle, one of the requirements for going home. And they constantly reminded me that I needed to take care of myself, too, especially after a caesarean birth.

After weeks in the hospital the day finally came: Addie was coming home.

But the care didn’t stop when we left the hospital. The Prince Albert staff let us know that we could call any time. We left with the confidence that we had a great support network around us.

I wish I could say that we are the only family that would ever need a fully functioning NICU in Prince Albert, but we all know the reality is this simply isn’t so.

We experienced firsthand how Victoria Hospital’s compassionate teams contributed to our “happily-ever-after.” But what many don’t realize is just how much these good outcomes depend on the generosity of people like you and me, our friends, our colleagues and our neighbours.

Please know how honoured Travis and I will be when you choose to make a gift to Victoria Hospital Foundation. Thank you for your kind consideration.

Wishing you the very best,

Marianne Turcotte
Mom, Donor, and Proud Prince Albert Resident

P.S. Funds raised within our community ensure our local hospital has the right piece of medical equipment at the right time, to save lives. Every dollar donated stays right here in Prince Albert and goes toward improving our local healthcare. Please, won’t you take a moment right now to support families like ours?

State of the art equipment means our caregivers will have the tools of the highest quality to give our fragile babies the best care possible at our hospital.

  • Resuscitation equipment for newborns
  • New warming incubators (that can also cool to address brain injury during delivery)
  • Ventilators for infants
  • The newest technology in NICU monitors
  • Mobile ultrasound equipment to check baby’s heart, lungs, kidneys quickly and safely
  • Comfortable bili-blankets to treat jaundiced babies
  • Oxygen blenders for babies who need help breathing
  • A rocking chair for every mom to sit, hold and bond with her baby
  • A pullout bed for mom or dad to sleep next to their child.

Listen LIVE Friday, December 4, 2020 from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Broadcast on three Prince Albert Stations:
900 CKBI
Beach 101.5
Power 99

During the Live Broadcast You Can:

Drop off your pledge in the Mann Northway GM drive through bay.

Call in your pledge during the Radio-a-thon: Toll Free: 1-855-816-LIFE(5433)

Fax in your pledge during the Radio-a-thon: (306) 765-6120

Download this form and mail to the Victoria Hospital Foundation

Now using our new on-line (Bank Grade Security) DONATE TODAY option you can make your donation using your VISA or MasterCard. You can make a One-Time Donation or you can choose the Monthly Option. This allows you to make a larger donation, over time, and still qualify for the Rewards associated with your card.

Investing in Local Healthcare

Your generous donations will support the Victoria Hospital Foundation’s work, providing funds for specialized equipment, innovative patient care services and upgrading of facilities and replacement of out-dated equipment.


Our Mission

The Victoria Hospital Foundation has as its mission to build awareness of and inspire investment in local health care and the well-being of the people of Prince Albert (SK) and surrounding communities.

Learn More

Contact Us

Victoria Hospital Foundation
Box 3000 - 1200 24th Street W, Prince Albert, SK  S6V 5T4 Canada

Phone: 1-855-816-LIFE or (306)765-6105
Fax: (306)765-6120