Friends in the Comox Valley have stepped up to help out a Campbell River family in the midst of a medical crisis in Victoria.
For years, Natasha and Paul Ardron have been friends with expecting parents Matt Little and Crystal Naswell, who just moved to Campbell River from the Comox Valley in the summer.
Naswell had been feeling ill and weak and developed bacterial pneumonia, and on Dec. 5 she required an emergency caesarean section to deliver her baby.
“Crystal had been sick with the flu for a few weeks,” says Natasha Ardron. “There’s so many terrible colds and flus going around.”
Naswell needed to be put into medically induced coma in order that she be able to breathe with an intubator. Meanwhile, baby Lochlan was born prematurely at 28 weeks and five days. He too needed to be put on an intubator at first.
Both mother and child were transferred to different hospitals in Victoria.
As for Little, there is a facility for families to stay, Jeneece Place, but there was no room.
“There’s so many families in need right now,” Ardron says. “They’re booked solid.”
The result is that Little has been forced to stay in a hotel in Victoria during a time of the year when hotel rooms in Victoria are in high demand.
“The only option was to stay in a hotel,” Ardron says. “Christmas in Victoria can be quite costly.”
This is where the Ardrons stepped in, setting up a GoFundMe page to help the family with the costs. As the GoFundMe page says, “He is balancing his time between both hospitals to help manage medical decisions for his son and partner.”
When Ardron spoke to the Mirror, the GoFundMe campaign was getting close to the goal of $5,000.
The family moved to Campbell River because of an especially tight rental housing situation in the Comox Valley. Ardron realizes it is not an easy thing for people like Matt Little and Crystal Naswell to reach out for help.
“They’re both very hard-working people. They’re very independent,” she says.
Matt Little, she adds, does not even go on social media, so he has been truly touched by the outreach from people through GoFundMe, and in light of the circumstances, he is handling the stress well.
As far as mother and child, Lochlan has been improving and has been switched from intubation to a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine and more recently has been put on high-flow oxygen.
“He’s made the transition smoothly,” Ardron said.
Dad and son even had the opportunity for a first cuddle.
The hospital has tried to wake Naswell, who is stable, and remove the intubation tube, but she is not yet able to breathe on her own, so it remains a bit of a waiting game for Little while she is in the medically induced coma.
• The GoFundMe page can be found under “Help for Lochlan Little and Parents.”
(This story has been altered to change last names.)