Originally published by Comox Valley Record – April 14, 2019
YANA offers Comox Valley family support in birth of twins
Every family’s birth story is different. When a Comox Valley family’s experience includes care in another city, YANA is there every step of the way.
August 21, 2018 – Sarah, Kyle and their 17 month old son Harvey are sound asleep in their Comox Valley home. Sarah is 27 weeks pregnant with twins. Sarah’s water breaks months earlier than expected. Their 2:00 a.m. trip to the Comox Valley hospital turns into an emergency airlift transport to the Royal Columbian Hospital in New Westminster. On their way to the helicopter, they are handed an envelope containing emergency cash and a letter from YANA.
YANA Executive Director Kelly Barnie receives the first phone call from Kyle. He explains the situation and says that the doctors are trying to hold the babies off from coming for as long as possible, but they could come any time. YANA support is confirmed. “We’ll send you an e-transfer today and we’ll work on finding accommodations for whenever you’re ready,” Barnie assures. The relief in Kyle’s voice is palpable.
August 24th, 2018 – Each weighing 2lbs 1 oz, twins Isla and Clark are born! Mom Sarah is stable with Kyle by her side. Big brother Harvey is at his grandparents’ in Courtenay. Babies are being monitored in the NICU.
September 4, 2018 – Kyle has been staying bedside in the hospital. Though Sarah is now well enough to be discharged, Isla and Clark will need to stay in hospital for two to three months. Sarah and Kyle move into a BnB YANA has found and paid for where they can stay with their son and easily get to the hospital to be with the twins. Isla and Clark have their IVs removed and get 3 hours of skin to skin contact. Both babies are over 1kg and have their first bath!
September 23, 2018 – Babies are 4 weeks old. Isla is off the CPAP machine and Clark is gaining weight like crazy. Sarah holds both twins together for the first time. Kyle tells Kelly what an awesome big brother Harvey is becoming. “He can already say Isla and can sorta say Clark. We finally took our first family photo. Hello family of five!”
October 24, 2018 – The twins are 2 months old today! Clark is 5 lbs 6oz, Isla 4 lbs 13 oz. Both are learning to nurse and bottle feed and everyone is praying for continued weight gain, waking for successful feeding times, no heart rate dips, and peace for mom and dad who are not so patiently waiting to go home. “Feels like we are on the “final stretch” but this apparently is the longest stage. It’s so hard because it seems like the end of the tunnel is in sight,” Kyle laments.
November 8, 2018 – After almost 3 months away, Kyle sends Kelly an email titled “Moving out and coming home!”
For Kyle and Sarah, that first contact with YANA was the beginning of many months of assistance that assured them their community was behind them through this journey. From the emergency funds, to the Air BnB, to monthly financial assistance, and regular check-ins, YANA was with them all the way. “Having that help from YANA made all the difference. They dealt with all those stresses, letting us concentrate on getting the twins bigger and stronger so we could bring them home,” says Kyle.
For more information or to donate, visit yanacomoxvalley.com.
Another way to help YANA, and perhaps win big, is to purchase a Valley Vonka chocolate bar (or two) at participating dealers, while quantities last.
Contained within the packaging of five Valley Vonka chocolate bars are the coveted “golden tickets,” to be redeemed for some incredible prizes.
Valley Vonka chocolate bars are available at:
and of course the YANA office!
Jack Boan is a smart guy who knows his Pi! He will be blowing people’s minds by reciting Pi on Pi Day (3.14) Thursday March 14th at Mark R Isfeld Secondary. He has done it officially for a YANA fundraiser for three years now. In his first year he recited 605 digits, second year he upped it to 808 digits, and last year he recited more than 1100 digits! He has kicked off collecting his pledges and was hoping others would consider donating as well.
It’s easy, just go to https://www.
The electricity, the magic, and the generosity surrounding this year’s Big Love Benefit was astounding. YANA supporters heard about the growing need for services and about the impact YANA assistance makes for local families. They came together with a resounding “CHALLENGE ACCEPTED!”
Heaps of big love to everyone that had a hand in this record breaking year!
What a magical winning moment!
Lana was in the house at the Florence Filberg Centre on Friday night at the 2019 Big Love Event when the winning name…HER name was called (note: winner did not need to be in attendance). And that was just the beginning, because this story is going to give you the feels!
In tears with the surprise of winning and all of the emotions of the night, Lana came to the edge of the stage to claim her prize. She asked to have the mic.
Nearly 400 event attendees and volunteers had just been introduced to an incredibly special YANA family through Karen McKinnon’s photo presentation. Touched by their story of challenge and resilience, Lana decided to pay it forward big BIG time. She announced that she wanted to donate the 2 Westjet tickets to little Kayden and Karris’s family! Lana multiplied this gift by adding in a stay at her family’s condo in Mexico. YANA board member Ashley joined the avalanche of generosity and offered to donate the additional 2 flights needed for the family of 4 to travel together if they could.
This story truly shows the profound feelings and actions of the night, and this community’s unbelievable support for YANA.
Congratulations Lana and thank you for creating a beautiful circle of giving!
And, of course, thank you to each and every volunteer who sold raffle tickets for us, and everyone who purchased a ticket!!
Photo credit: Ali Roddam
Show your support for children and families in the Comox Valley by purchasing a YANA Big Love WestJet Raffle ticket!
Click HERE to request tickets and a YANA volunteer will contact you to fulfill your order. Winning ticket will be drawn at the Big Love Benefit Event. *Winner does not need to be present at the draw on Feb 22, 2019.