‘We are very grateful’: Pareja thanks the MUHC staff for going the extra mile during the testing time

The staff arranged for Stefanie Cortina to deliver at the Royal Victoria Hospital so that she and her partner could be close to their first child, who was undergoing surgery at Montreal Children’s Hospital.

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At a time when healthcare workers are overwhelmed by the COVID-19 pandemic, and some say doctors aren’t working hard enough, a team at a Montreal hospital recently went to great lengths to care for a family who experience immense and deep happiness. tragedy.


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The parents of one son, Alessandro, Stefanie Cortina and their partner Salvatore Giulione were eager to welcome their second child. Cortina was scheduled to give birth at St. Mary’s Hospital on September 20.

But a few days earlier, Alessandro had a seemingly harmless fall at home and was sent to Montreal Children’s Hospital. Tests revealed that he had what is known as a subdural hygroma, a collection of fluid between the membranes of the brain.

Realizing that it would not be possible to treat and discharge Alessandro before his mother was scheduled to deliver, a team from the McGill University Health Center ensured that Cortina could be admitted to the Royal Victoria Hospital. .

Located in the same building as the children’s hospital, the change meant that mother and child could be under the same roof. It wasn’t easy to coordinate, the hospital said, but the goal was to prevent parents from having to travel between the two facilities.


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“This is what I call the art of medicine rather than the science of medicine,” said Alessandro’s doctor at the children’s hospital, Dr. Jean-Pierre Farmer.

Cortina, for her part, emphasized that it was the hospital’s initiative to make the change. The family never asked for anything, he added.

“Everyone worked together to make this happen,” he said. “The only thing we (my husband and I) had to worry about was the health of our children.”

Alessandro had his first surgery on Friday, September 17. Her mother went to the Royal Victoria Hospital the following Monday, due date, but the doctors decided that the baby was healthy and that, under the circumstances, the delivery could wait a few minutes. more days for the dust to settle.


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Labor would naturally begin 48 hours later and she would deliver a healthy child.

“It was a good thing that they transferred me because I only had to go through hospitals to go into labor,” Cortina said. “And my husband was able to leave me a few hours during the delivery to go with our son.”

But the family was not out of the woods yet. Dr. Farmer discovered that the first surgery had not completely solved Alessandro’s problems and that a new procedure was needed. It was scheduled for Thursday, the day after his little brother was born.

On the day of her surgery, Cortina was able to make it to Alessandro’s bedside before returning to care for her newborn, which otherwise would not have been possible. The Royal Victoria Hospital obstetrics department also allowed Cortina to stay one more night while Alessandro’s condition improved.

When doctors confirmed that everything was fine the next morning, the family was finally able to return home together that afternoon.

“We cannot thank you enough, we are very grateful for what the teams did for us,” Cortina said. “Our story has a fairy tale ending.”



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