First Birthday = Big Milestone + Lots of Love


Logann Heerema, with parents Brent and Kristin Heerema, recently celebrated her first birthday by donating $1,000 to the NICU here at the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre. Logann spent the first 70 days of her life in the NICU, both in London, ON and here in Thunder Bay. She also joined the First Marks Club and will soon have a footprint with her name engraved on it to be placed on the Celebration of Life Wall within the Maternal Newborn Unit.

By Heather Vita - July 25, 2018

A first birthday seemed a long way off when Logann Heerema was born two and a half months premature on July 5, 2017. At just 2 lbs, 1 oz, Logann had a tricky start to her life. Right away she was whisked to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at the Children’s Hospital at the London Health Sciences Centre where she spent five weeks in intensive care. Finally she was well enough to be transferred back to the NICU at the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre where she spent another five weeks. Mother Kristin recalls, “I don’t remember much about those early days, but I know she spent a total of 70 days in intensive care – that I remember!”

Fast forward a year and there’s lots to remember, and celebrate, as Logann recently turned one and is a thriving, healthy little girl. To honour the occasion and to give back to the NICU where they spent so much time, parents Kristin and Brent Heerema asked for donations to the Hospital for Logann’s birthday.

“We are so fortunate,” says Kristin. “First of all because Logann really had no other health concerns upon birth and she just needed time to grow. And that’s exactly what she did during her time in the NICU. Secondly, we just can’t say enough about the entire staff in the NICU – from the Nurses, Doctors, Housekeepers, Respiratory Therapists, you name it – they all contributed so much to the incredible care we received. And thirdly our fortune lies with our family and friends who’ve always been so supportive throughout our journey with Logann, and who helped us celebrate this big milestone with so many donations.”

Altogether Logann and her parents, Kristin and Brent, were able to give $1,000 to the NICU to contribute towards the purchase of new equipment needed to care for newborns. “It’s a whole different world in the NICU and you can’t appreciate the complexity of care that takes place there until you’ve experienced it,” says Brent. “We’re very proud to be able to give back to a facility that gave our family so much.”

In addition to her birthday donations, Logann joined the First Marks Club and will have a footprint with her name engraved on it placed on the Celebration of Life Wall inside the Maternal Newborn Unit. Membership in the club is a minimum $250 donation and all funds raised support equipment and programs in the Maternal Child Unit at our Hospital.

“When I think back to those first few months, it almost seems like a lifetime ago, when in reality it was only a year,” says Kristin. “We’re so lucky to have a feisty little girl with a great spirit who was supported so well in her development by the team here in the NICU. We’re forever grateful.”

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