A lifeline for the Loewen-Sanchez family in high-risk pregnancy journey

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Originally published by the Comox Valley Record, March 20, 2024

Erin Haluschak – Comox Valley Record

Reya Loewen-Sanchez’s entry into the world was anything but ordinary. 

Her mother faced a high-risk pregnancy due to pre-eclampsia and placenta previa, conditions that posed significant risks to both her and the baby. For 61 days, the family – including dad Jordan Sanchez – found refuge with YANA’s help, receiving crucial support. 

“We ended up in the emergency with the possibility that we could lose the baby. My wife was helicoptered out to Victoria where they have a NICU (neonatal intensive care unit) and lived in the hospital for a while.” 

Jordan added YANA came to their side immediately and assisted the family in a variety of ways. It provided funds for travel as he had to drive to Victoria, take time away from work and living expenses while away from home.

“We ended up at the wonderful Jeneece Place (a home away from home where children and their families can stay while receiving medical care in Victoria) and YANA funded the stay. They covered cost of living away from home, being away from work and the cost of living there – it made a massive difference in our lives.” 

Jordan’s wife was in hospital and gave birth on Nov. 23, 2023 at 37 weeks to a healthy baby girl, and didn’t have to use the hospital’s NICU.

“I believe it’s because so much of the financial and emotional street was taken away from the entire experience (thanks to YANA) and it gave us such a wonderful start.” 

While YANA provides accommodation and support for families who need to travel outside their community for medical treatment for their children, it also offers emotional support and resources to help families cope with the challenges they face during their medical journeys. 

Overall, YANA’s mission is to ensure that families feel supported and cared for during difficult times, allowing them to focus on their child’s health and well-being. 

The Loewen-Sanchez family has since returned home to the Comox Valley. As a teacher, Jordan explained he was previously aware of YANA as some of his students had volunteered with the organization, but admitted he wasn’t aware of the level that the organization steps up for families. 

“They are so integral in our community. They made the biggest difference in our quality of life.”

YANA (You Are Not Alone) is a not-for-profit organization in the Comox Valley that helps families who need to travel for medical treatment for their children or a pregnant mother.