When Zoe was born 11 weeks premature and small enough to fit in her dad’s hand, Matt was terrified. His wife lay critically ill while his baby was fighting for her life in an incubator in the Newborn ICU, hooked up to IV lines, ventilators and monitoring devices to measure her heartbeat, body temperature, oxygen saturation, pH, C02 level.

During a 125-day stay in the NICU, tiny Zoe relied on each of the five different types of ventilators that help babies with underdeveloped lungs breathe.

For Matt and Dawne, the experience was full of ups and downs, but they formed a comforting relationship with Zoe’s nurses. “I can’t say enough about the amazing support they were to us,” says Dawne. “There was one day when we thought we were going to lose her. Our nurses, Leanne and Anna, were there, every step of the way.”

After fighting off three infections and undergoing several blood transfusions, Zoe got to go home on oxygen assistance. Today, at 13 months old, Zoe is still small at just 12 pounds. But her energy and determination make up for it. Lung challenges could follow her for life, but Matt and Dawne will never forget the remarkable care they witnessed at Surrey Memorial Hospital.