Caring for baby Elliott has required plenty of travel for a Mount Stewart family.
Tina and Terry Polstra have driven their son to the IWK Health Centre in Halifax seven times already in the first four months of the little one’s life.
Filling the car with fuel time and again could have been an expensive proposition for the Polstras. So tapping into Irving Oil’s Fuel the Care Program has proven to provide welcome financial relief for the family.
“It was a blessing that we were able to be a part of that program,’’ said Tina. “It makes life a little bit easier.’’
For more than 10 years, the program has assisted more than 35,000 families in Atlantic Canada and New England by providing fuel cards for medical care travel.
The program has paid for all seven of the trips to Halifax where Elliott has been receiving treatment to correct a club foot.
The baby, shown in an ultrasound to also have a malformation of the brain called Dandy Walker malformation, is also being monitored on a continual basis on this front.
Remarkably, though, Elliott has been developing either at or above a normal rate to the cautious delight of his parents.
“It seems at the moment there is no impact (from Dandy Walker malformation),’’ said Tina. “He is developing fine.’’
Tina views her son’s strong development to date as a miracle, crediting the many prayers as perhaps providing a collective healing touch.
The baby’s right club foot is also improving with treatment. The foot was placed in a cast for about one month and Elliott is now wearing special shoes with a bar in between the pair designed to keep his feet at a proper angle.
Tina notes her boy’s club foot was projecting straight out more like a flipper than a foot following his birth.
The family will be able to continue accessing the Irving Oil Fuel the Care program for future medical trips to Halifax.
Social workers at the IWK Health Centre work directly with patient families to help assess their needs and access the program.
“It is so rewarding to see the smile of relief on a parent’s face when they learn about the Irving Oil Program,’’ said Heather Prosser, a social worker at the IWK Health Centre.
“Such generosity gives them hope and help during a very stressful time in their lives.’’