Our Stories

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Our Kids

Our Janeway Kids

Each and every one of our incredible Janeway Kids has a story to tell.  From the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) to emergency (ER) – from surgeries to specialized, much needed treatments – throughout every department and every service within the Janeway, our Kids inspire us with their courage and determination.

This year for the 2021 Janeway Telethon you will have the opportunity to read about, or see, our amazing Janeway Kids.   Some of their stories will be shared through print and social media, while others will be shared through produced pieces to air during Telethon Weekend.

Here are some of their stories.

Quinn Schmiedendorf – Age 14

2020 & 2021 Janeway Children’s Miracle Network Champion

As our 2020 Janeway Children’s Miracle Network Champion, Quinn was to take part in CMN Celebrations, an event that is held annually and sponsored by Walmart and the Air Canada Foundation.  Unfortunately due to the COVID-19 pandemic, that began in March 2020, these plans changed for all Hospital Champions throughout Canada and the United States.  Earlier this year CMN asked that all 2020 Champions continue their reigns, for 2021, in their respective provinces and states.  Quinn will take on an additional role with the Janeway Foundation this year, as a Junior Host during Telethon Weekend.  We are all thrilled to have Quinn join us in this capacity and look forward to working with her during the broadcast.  Stay tuned, Newfoundland and Labrador!!!

Quinn can tell you exactly what her condition is, what surgeries, tests and treatments she has had and why.  Quinn was diagnosed with meningocele, one of three main types of spina bifida, a condition that develops a defect in the formation of the spine. Quinn also had a tethered spinal cord, a condition where the spinal cord is attached (tethered) at the base of the spine and cannot move freely.

Despite all the pain she has experienced through her surgeries, Quinn’s positive attitude continues to shine through. Making others smile and laugh is a big part of her day and the staff of the Janeway Hospital has been the recipient of her special gift. Her bravery has no limits and has been an incredible source of support for her mom, Kim.

Because of a growth hormone deficiency, she is smaller than other girls her age, but she doesn’t let that stop her! Her quirky sense of humor, her determination and courage, and her never-ending patience make her truly extraordinary.

Quinn’s hospital journey is not yet over, but that realization will never dampen her spirits.

“I feel that most people in my position, who have been through what I’ve been through, would say it holds them back. For me, it only pushes me further.”          Quinn

Champions Program proudly supported by Walmart Canada and the Air Canada Foundation.

Paige & Parker Eddison – Age 2

Paige and Parker’s due date was April 22, 2019, but they had other plans, deciding to arrive on January 13 at just 25 weeks gestation.  As mom, Ashley, was being brought to the delivery room in the Grand Falls-Windsor hospital she knew that the Janeway had been contacted and the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Transport Team were on the way.  Ashley will never forget that night or the moment she saw the NICU Team come through the door. She had never felt so relieved and secure.  She knew her babies were in good hands.

Two ambulances and two planes were outfitted with mobile ICU’s to ensure the babies were transported safely to the Janeway’s NICU.  It was there that Paige and Parker would spend the first months of their lives in their environmentally controlled incubators, receiving Level III care.

As Ashley remembers, “both Paige and Parker needed so many things, it was overwhelming. They were both intubated for a long period of time.  They had blood transfusions, IV’s, NG tubes for feeding, bloodwork, x-rays and ultrasounds.  They both had PDA’s (a persistent opening between the two major blood vessels leading from the heart), which was a concern at the time.  There was also a concern that the babies would have brain bleeds.  They were so tiny, so helpless, but through it all they were fighters and the NICU team fought right along with them.”

Paige spent three months in the NICU.  Her major complication came when her lungs collapsed and she had to be placed on a high frequency oscillator, helping to open her collapsed lung tissue.  A few days later Paige had recovered and thrived from then on.

Parker had to spend six months in the NICU.  Each time he was ready to come off ventilation, he would experience difficulties.  After many attempts the team knew that Parker would need a tracheotomy (a surgical procedure where a breathing tube, called a trach tube, would be placed directly into his windpipe to help him breathe).  At just three months of age Parker had this surgery and began to improve.  But there would be more surgeries to come.

In September 2020 Parker had airway reconstruction surgery, in December 2020 there was surgery to remove his tonsils and adenoids.  And then, on February 3, 2021, Parker’s trach was removed.  He could breathe on his own.  An incredibly happy day for the whole family.

“Paige and Parker are doing amazing and will continue to visit the Janeway for their check-ups. Our Janeway Family saved our babies and gave us incredible support.  The past two years were a rollercoaster, but we had the perfect team on our side to get us through.”          Mom – Ashley

Jacob Roberts – Age 5

Squid rings, pizza and loose meat sandwiches – snowmobiling, spending time at the cabin, Lego and playing Super Mario with Daddy – are all a part of who Jacob is.

Jacob is also a little boy who, at just over 3 years of age, was diagnosed with a non-cancerous brain tumor that required neurosurgery to remove.  A shunt, which he still has today, was then inserted to help drain fluid from Jacob’s brain.  Eight months later, the day before Jacob’s fourth birthday, following a routine check-up, it was revealed that Jacob’s tumor had begun to grow back.  This routine check-up became a 7 week stay at the Janeway, involving four additional surgeries.

At just five years old, Jacob can tell you all about his brain surgeries.  During Jamarama Day at school, he told his class about his surgeries, showed them his scars and told them how much he loved going to the Janeway.

Jacob will be continuously monitored by the Janeway team, and will require diagnostic tests throughout his life, to ensure that the tumor doesn’t grow back again.

Jacob may not want us to know this, but he is a good singer, and has sung in church.  His nurses remember his beautiful little voice, singing songs, during his stays at the Janeway.  Maybe, just maybe Jacob will sing for us one day.

“During the hardest days of our lives, the Janeway team and our Neurosurgeon assured us that our precious boy was their priority. As a result, they saved Jacob’s life and became an integral part of our family. ”          Mom & Dad, Dana and Adam

Jersey Gaudet – Age 4

Many families travel to the Janeway on an ongoing basis, to ensure their children receive specialized treatments or tests.

Jersey and her family travel to the Janeway, every two weeks, from Port Aux Basques.  Jersey is the first child in Newfoundland and Labrador to receive ground-breaking treatment for CLN2 Batten Disease, a rare, fatal disease of the nervous system.  Common symptoms for most forms of Batten Disease include vision loss, seizures, delay and eventual loss of skills previously acquired and abnormal movements.

This is not the first time the Gaudet Family has had to face Batten Disease.  In 2015 Jersey’s older sister Ava was diagnosed with this condition.  The family was so grateful to the team at the Janeway who ensured that Ava received the best care, helping to guide them through every situation with compassion. When Ava passed in 2017 the family could never have imagined that Jersey would also be diagnosed with this disease.

But now there was hope!  A way to help slow the progression of the disease through enzyme replacement therapy treatments that, in 2017, became the first globally approved treatment for CLN2 Batten Disease.

Before receiving the enzyme replacement therapy treatments, Jersey needed a battery of tests, one of which was an MRI, before she could have her surgery to place an intraventricular access device (port) in her skull.

Every two weeks, for the rest of her life, this port in Jersey’s skull will deliver her enzyme replacement therapy treatments directly into the fluid surrounding her brain, through a method known as intraventricular infusion (the delivery of a drug within a fluid filled cavity of the heart or brain).

Tuesday, March 2, 2021 marked the first anniversary of Jersey receiving these treatments.  It also marked a full year of Jersey being seizure free.  An exciting milestone for the Gaudet Family.

Because of this treatment Jersey is able to live a fun filled life, enjoying all the things a little 4 year old girl should, especially spending time with her big sister Cali and all her friends at the Janeway.

“Jersey is absolutely thriving and we owe it all to the Janeway team for never giving up, even when presented with obstacles.  They are our supports, our friends, but most of all they have become our Family.”           Mom – Brittany

Nathan Windsor – Age 6

Nathan is a typical little boy who loves books, cars, actually anything with wheels, and spending time with his older sister, Taylor and younger brother, Joel.  Being outside, in any weather, is where you will most often find Nathan.  Anyone who knows him will tell you what a charmer he is, a friendly, happy little boy.

Nathan was born with Down syndrome, congenital heart disease and a tethered spinal cord.  But does that stop him from exploring and doing all the things he loves?  Absolutely Not!!!!

The first three months of Nathan’s life were spent in the Janeway’s NICU, receiving the care and treatment that he needed.  At ten and fourteen days old he underwent two major abdominal surgeries to repair bowel obstructions and have his appendix removed.  But Nathan When Nathan was just ten weeks of age the NICU Transport Team brought him to SickKids, in Toronto, for open heart surgery to repair a hole in his heart.  Three weeks later, the team travelled back to Toronto to bring Nathan home to the Janeway.

After three months in the NICU and three major surgeries before he was two months old, Nathan was ready to go home.

Nathan visits his friends at the Janeway often for tests and check-ups – and he has many friends in many different hospital departments – cardiology, ophthalmology, neurology, development and rehab, emergency, diagnostic imaging, ENT; urology; general surgery, blood collection and the wonderful team at the Down syndrome clinic.   Everyone looks forward to seeing him come through the door, sharing that beautiful smile.

Nathan, our charming explorer, will be ready for anything that comes his way.

“The care and compassion that has been shown to us, from the doctors, nurses and staff at the Janeway, is first class!”     Mom & Dad – Jana & Steven

Abigail Reader – Age 17

The Janeway medical team is prepared and ready for any emergent situation, day or night, 24/7.

Abigail and her family will always remember that day, a day that began, but would not end, like any other.  That day when an ambulance rushed Abigail to the Janeway after a serious ATV accident.

It was there, at the Janeway, that Abigail’s long road to recovery would begin, following surgery to amputate her left leg, below the knee.

Six surgeries, two months of treatments in the hyperbaric chamber, to help her heal faster, and many, many appointments at the Miller Centre to modify her prosthetic, were all a part of Abigail’s days.

Abby’s life has changed, she is navigating a new road now, getting used to life with a prosthetic limb.

But, through all of these challenges Abby hasn’t changed.  She still loves to spend time horseback riding, cooking, playing video games and exploring on her ATV.  Her newest love is driving her car.

We have heard that Abby has a special hobby, drawing.  Let’s hope that one day she will show us some of her work.

“Without the help of the fabulous team at the Janeway and the dive team at the hyperbaric clinic, Abigail would not be where she is today.”       Mom and Dad – Barbara-Ann and Blair