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Variety – The Children’s Charity assisted young Osoyoos family during difficult time
Wina Poliquin says having her newborn son taken from her arms after his traumatic birth – he was born 10 weeks premature – was “easily the most difficult thing I’ve ever had to go through in my life.”
Because her son, Nehilim Drolet, was so tiny – he weighed only two pounds, five ounces – doctors decided he should be transported immediately from Penticton Regional Hospital to Royal Columbia Hospital in Vancouver.
Devastated by not only the premature birth and the fact her first-born child had been taken away from her, Poliquin and her husband Simon Drolet also didn’t have any money and desperately wanted to get to Vancouver to be with their son.
Thankfully, a social worker informed them about Variety – The Children’s Charity and how they could quickly access housing and funding to get to Vancouver to be with Nehilim.
“I was already overwhelmed with having a premature baby and then having him taken away from me only a few minutes after he was born was heartbreaking,” said Poliquin, who, along with her husband, have called Osoyoos home for the past 10 years since moving her from Trois Rivieres, Quebec. “We didn’t have any money and we really didn’t know what we were going to do.
“But the social worker informed us about Variety and the children’s telethon … and within three days we were set up in a nice apartment in Vancouver that was only walking distance from the Royal Columbia Hospital in Vancouver.”
The help they received from this “wonderful organization” for two months will never be forgotten, said Poliquin.
After spending three weeks in Vancouver, their son was healthy enough to be transferred back closer to home and spent another month at Kelowna General Hospital, where, once again, Variety came through with funding to provide them with a nice apartment and money for food, she said.
Nehilim is now a bright, talkative, active and healthy four-year-old.
“I honestly don’t know what we would have done without the help of Variety,” said Poliquin. “Variety is an amazing organization that really helps people when they’re going through a difficult time and I can’t imagine what we would have done without their assistance.”
Despite being born 10 weeks early, their son’s health was never jeopardized and he was able to go home from hospital less than two months after his birth, she said.
“They knew he was going to be OK right away, but you’re still very worried when your baby is born 10 weeks early,” she said. “But I will always believe that the fact we were able to be there with him during those first few weeks was very important to him doing so well despite being so tiny.
“Without the help we received from Variety, I don’t know how we would have been able to be with him like we were.”
Simon Drolet echoed the same thoughts.
“We had no time to search for an apartment and we had to be with our son and they took away all of the stress by giving us a place to live,” he said. “This was the first time we had ever asked anyone for any kind of help and they were just so kind and helpful.”
Poliquin and Drolet are the proud owners of Art Therapy Corp, the local tattoo, piercing and makeup salon located in downtown Osoyoos.
Poliquin said she has informed many of her friends about the great work done by Variety and how much help they received during that difficult period four years ago.
“If we ever won the lottery or came across a lot of money, I can tell you that Variety would be the very first organization on my list to help out,” she said.
“It’s a great organization that really helps people when they need it the most. We can’t say enough good things about them.”
Variety – The Children’s Charity raises funds and distributes grants throughout British Columbia to inspire hope, enrich lives and build a better future for children who have special needs.
Since 1965, Variety has raised over $170 million to provide life-saving, life-changing and life-enriching support.
Variety – The Children’s Charity ‘s 48th annual Show of Hearts Telethon returns to the air on Global BC on Jan. 25 at 7 p.m. to January 26 at 5:30pm.
Donations can be made by calling 310-KIDS or online at variety.bc.ca.
In 2013, Variety provided grants to 1,277 families and 32 organizations offering specialized programs and services to children.