Port Perry mother grateful to the hospital that helped save her son’s life

Stephanie Barker faced a mother’s worst nightmare when, at just two weeks old, her newborn baby Jack suddenly fell seriously ill. But thanks to the team at Uxbridge Hospital, part of Oak Valley Health, and the vital medical equipment donors like you have helped support, that nightmare eventually turned into her greatest miracle.

“One evening after his two-week appointment, Jack began acting fussy and developed a weak cry,” recalls Stephanie, a lifelong area resident. “At first, we thought he was dehydrated from not eating well, but his condition only worsened. Before I knew it, Jack was limp in my arms. In a panic, we immediately called an ambulance.”

With time of the essence, Jack was rushed to the nearest emergency department at Uxbridge Hospital, where the team jumped right in from the get-go to help her baby boy. “The team was all hands on deck, working tirelessly to care for Jack while keeping in close communication with my husband and I about what was going on during our most stressful night. We felt he was in good hands.”

Jack’s care was led by nurses Rebecca Donnely, Evelyn Enriques, Melissa Morton, Anne Patterson, and Allison Slapkauskas, physicians Dr. Sonali Mohile, Dr. Natalie Munn, and Dr. Ryan Tong, and even Stephanie’s own family physician Dr. Carlye Jensen. Once resuscitated, Jack was found to be suffering from cardiogenic shock, preventing much-needed oxygen from reaching his vital organs. But with critical equipment available to them thanks to donor funding, the team had what they needed to stabilize him until he could be transferred to Toronto’s SickKids Hospital. 

Among this specialized equipment included a Newborn Resuscitation Panda Warmer to oxygenate Jack and prevent hypothermia, an Intraosseous infusion (IO) needle to navigate around his smaller veins by providing injections directly into the bone marrow, and a Broselow Cart, which uses colour-coded drawers to quickly access the appropriate equipment based on each child’s size.

“Beyond excellent care, there was also a personal approach at Uxbridge Hospital that you wouldn’t find at a larger hospital. These were my neighbours, some of whom I had known for years. They did everything possible to help us feel comforted, supported, and hopeful.”

Today, as a healthy five-month-old Jack continues on his road to recovery, what Stephanie feels most is gratitude.

“It’s simple – Uxbridge Hospital helped save my son’s life. It is small but mighty, and I’m relieved that these doctors and nurses had the expertise, compassion, and tools needed to care for Jack. In an emergency like ours, you aren’t looking for the biggest hospital. You’re looking for one around the corner, one you can trust to take care of your family. And that’s what this hospital will always be to us.”

This story was written by Uxbridge Hospital Foundation.