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Alyssa Pinsent was inspired to expand her initiative of collecting newborn sleepers when she followed the story of Paizlee Rose, a premature baby born at 23 weeks weighing under a pound.
Paizlee Rose’s mother is an Islander, so Pinsent contacted her.
“I asked if I could use Paizlee as the face of our campaign this year, and she said yes. I was really inspired by her journey.”
Last year Pinsent was just taking donations at her home, but this year she is taking donations at Andrews of Charlottetown, where she works as a caregiver.
Pinsent is donating to the QEH again this year, she said.
“If there are enough donations, I would like to make a donation to Prince County Hospital as well.”
Pinsent only spent a short time in the NICU when her son was born on Dec. 23, 2016. He had to be monitored, so Pinsent and her husband spent the holidays at the hospital.
“I thought about it last year, as kind of a thank-you to the staff and also it is a gift for the families. Especially over Christmas time it is hard to be there, and year-round they can use the sleepers, too.”
She noticed there was a lack of sleepers during her stay at the QEH.
“There wasn’t a lot of sleepers to go around, especially boy sleepers. There were a few days I had him in a pink sleeper. There weren’t many options there.”
A long stay in at the hospital during the holiday season is hard on families, she said.
“We weren’t there nearly as long as some families are. So, I can see the strain it can put on families. We were there for 10 days; some families are there for three months. It was hard on us those 10 days, but I can’t imagine what it must be like for other parents, especially over Christmas and holidays.”
Pinsent’s boxes for newborn baby sleepers are quite empty at the moment, and she hopes that changes soon.
“As long as people are donating into December I will take the sleepers into the QEH around Christmastime.”
Pinsent hopes people in the community stop off at Andrews of Charlottetown with new or lightly used sleepers for newborns, she said.
“If people are uncomfortable going in there, they can contact me on Facebook.”