Everleigh’s Story: She is everything that is perfect, wrapped in a tiny bundle.

Everleigh’s Story: She is everything that is perfect, wrapped in a tiny bundle.

On July 14th, 2023 Dave and Tara-Leigh went into the Cranbrook Regional Hospital at 11:00 for an induction to bring their baby girl into this world! After 3+ years of trying to carry a pregnancy full term, with several heartbreaking moments along the way, they were finally at the finish line and couldn’t have been happier!

Their little girl, named Everleigh Faith Trimble, was off to a stressful start. Her heart rate kept dropping as the Doctor, midwife, and nurses repositioned baby and Tara-Leigh multiple times. Soon, the decision was made to get Tara-Leigh down to the Operating Room urgently. Words could never express the amount of worry, fear & heartache felt in that sudden moment as Tara-Leigh was rushed down to the operating room.

Dave was to stay in the Hospital room, with no time to explain anything as the team worked fast to save baby Everleigh’s life.  There was no time to explain anything – they needed to work fast to save our baby’s life. Nearly two hours went by before he had any idea of how Baby and Mom were doing. He had overheard things like “no heartbeat”, “hasn’t taken a breath in 8 minutes”, and had nurses come give emotional hugs asking how he was doing, with emotion on their faces too. He feared the worst.

Everleigh was born with no heartbeat or breathing – she required ten minutes of resuscitation and intubation, including compressions, oxygen and respirations, and 2 shots of adrenaline. The fantastic medical team was able to stabilize her. She was alive! Although breathing independently, there were concerns that being without oxygen so far would result in long-term damage or issues.

Dave and Tara-Leigh were able to see her and were taken back at all of the things attached to their little fighter. A machine was breathing for her, an IV was ensuring she was hydrated, her heart rate and oxygen levels were being monitored, fluid was being drained from her lungs, there were tubes inserted through her umbilical stub, morphine and an anti-seizure medication was being administered, and to minimize any effects of loss of oxygen her body temperature was being cooled.

Everleigh needed to be transported to a hospital that had a Newborn Intensive Care Unit. A plane and special team were already in the sky, headed to bring her to the BC Children’s Hospital in Vancouver

Neither Dave nor Tara-Leigh was able to fly with her.

With things happening quickly, Tara-Leigh recovering from surgery, and other children at home, decisions were made quickly. A day later Tara-Leigh was flown to Vancouver Women’s Hospital, attached to the Children’s Hospital. Dave drove overnight to join them, bringing a vehicle and car seat for the eventual trip home. Family and neighbors stepped in to take care of home, not knowing how long they’d be away.

At that point they had no idea when that that would be. Things were going day by day.

All they knew was baby Everleigh was a miracle, a fighter, and beautiful.

In the BC Children’s Hospital NICU, Everleigh received one-on-one care and began 72 hrs of cooling therapy. Sensors were placed under her scalp for EEG monitoring. Feeding tube, breathing tube, IV in her hand, line in the umbilical cord for blood draws, a sock that monitors blood oxygen levels, and stickers that monitor her heart rate, pulse, and respirations per minute.

Dave and Tara-Leigh’s journey at the BC Children’s Hospital NICU started off overwhelming. When Dave arrived, a man in the back said, “That’s one floor you don’t want to be on”. Handed a 6-month parking pass from the front desk, he struggled to understand how this would work if Everleigh needed long-term care.

Wires and machines surrounded their precious girl, but as the days progressed Everleigh overcame every obstacle and passed every test. She was watched one-on-one while a specialized team of doctor, who came twice daily to go over reports, growth, and successes, answer any questions, and make a plan for the next 12-24 hours. It was truly amazing to see the care Everleigh and so many other newborns were receiving, and each day, it seemed, she had one less machine attached to her, and they were one step closer to going home.

Around them, they noticed several babies had signs saying “Congratulations on 100 days!” and began to wonder how families could deal with long term stays, especially if they weren’t from the Vancouver area. They felt fortunate that their stay seemed short, and heavy hearts for those who weren’t.

On July 22, 2023, baby Everleigh was discharged from the NICU. A perfectly healthy, happy baby, with no repercussions from her stressful start, thanks to the hard work and care of everyone from the additional help that had been called to the EKRH to support their baby girl, to the nurses, doctors, and specialty trained staff who dropped everything to help, to the staff at the BC Children’s Hospital that cared for her in the NICU. Dave and Tara-Leigh would like to thank Maternity Nurses Rachel and Kristi-Lee, Dr. Hugo, Dr. Pienaar, Midwives Savan and Anne, operating room staff, hospital staff and specialty nurses who rushed to work when they were called for our emergency, the patient transport network, BC Children’s Hospital staff including Dr Horacio, NICU nurses Hailey, Megan(s!), and other NICU nurses whose name escapes our memory, all of Everleigh’s specialty Doctors, and everyone who medically had a hand in Tara-Leigh’s care as well. We have so much gratitude to both of our amazing families, neighbours, and members of our community who sent messages of encouragement, and hope, who prayed, and helped us through Everleigh’s journey. We are so thankful for you all.

Having seen first-hand the technology, life-altering care, and the stress of being away from home, Dave and Tara-Leigh want to help bring a small NICU to the East Kootenay to be able to keep care for babies like Everleigh close to home. They will be donating 10% of all flooring sales from Dave’s business Kimberley Flooring from now till Dec 31st, 2023 to the “A Warm Embrace” NICU in Everleigh’s name. Anyone wishing to make a donation in Everleigh’s name without a flooring purchase is also welcome to do so at their Kimberley Flooring Platzl location: 145 Deer Park Ave, Kimberley BC, or online at ekfh.ca.

(full disclosure – even with a Tier 3 NICU in the East Kootenay, Everleigh would still have had to be airlifted due to the severity of her medical conditions. We’ve shared her story as an insight into the experience of a family having to leave home unexpectedly)