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Here. At home for a family

October 19, 2016

Mobile clinical care allows Canuck Place to reach more families throughout BC when and where they need it. This support enables parents to have tools to respond to their child’s changing symptoms within the comfort of their home.

One of these children was Vivienne. She was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor when she was four-months-old. The family was shattered, but they knew that they wanted to care for Vivienne at home, where she knew the sounds and smells, and where she could be surrounded by people who loved her.

“I was one of the team members who started to go into their home,” said Canuck Place nurse practitioner, Camara van Breemen. “My job was to first, sit and listen. The next step is to use knowledge and compassion to build a plan of care and a web of support with the family.”

Vivienne’s parents were initally told that their daughter likely only had a few weeks to live, but months passed, and Vivienne continued to surprise everyone with her gentle and determined spirit. Canuck Place was always close by to offer support and expert knowledge through the unpredictability of this time.

“We responded to changing symptoms, providing guidance on how to care for her,” explained Camara. “We explored hopes and fears, and we planned what to do when her conditioned worsened.”

Vivienne’s parents, Matt and Lee cared for their daughter while ensuring that their son, Henry was supported as well. They helped him handle the sadness of having a sister with special care, while also addressing the needs of any three-year-old: to grow, play, and feel loved.

Meanwhile, Camara supported Matt and Lee as they addressed the increasing needs of their daughter.

“Vivienne’s every need was responded to,” said Camara. “They had to adapt to many changes brought on by the growing brain tumor and they did this with grace and love.”

Camara continued home visits for eight months. “I witnessed grandparents, aunts, and friends hold Vivienne, play with her brother, give Matt or Lee a break, and celebrate many special days, including Vivienne’s 1st birthday.”

Vivienne died at home ten months after her diagnosis, but the love for her continues. Matt, Lee, and Henry all continue to receive care through Canuck Place bereavement counselling, where they can continue to remember and celebrate a very special little girl.

You can support families continued care both at Canuck Place, and in their own homes, by making a donation today.

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