If you ask Monica Flores, a grateful McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) patient, what motivated her and her partner Mathias to fundraise for the MUHC Foundation in honour of their twins’ first birthday, the response is simple: gratitude.

Easter weekend 2018 is one that Monica will never forget. It was the weekend she was admitted to the MUHC Birthing Centre due to complications with her pregnancy. Monica would be in the hospital for two months, before her twins were delivered at 33 weeks on June 7, 2018 by Dr. Alice Benjamin.

“A complicated pregnancy can be very stressful,” Monica says “but I was reassured by the outstanding around the clock care that I received from the multidisciplinary medical and nursing team. I attribute the healthy delivery of my beautiful babies to Dr. Benjamin and her excellent care.”

The MUHC Birthing Centre is no stranger to high risk pregnancies; it’s their specialty. Last year, there were 26,000 patient visits to the Women’s Health Clinics at the MUHC and over 3,000 babies were delivered.

“We are caring for patients with highly specialized needs. Women who have co-morbidities, such as diabetes and hypertension, as well as those suffering from infant loss or having difficulty becoming pregnant. These women need support and they also need knowledgeable specialists. This is why our team plays such a critical role,” says Nurse Manager Marie-Josée Bourassa.


Twins Beatrice and Benjamin – Benjamin was named to honour Dr. Alice Benjamin

Monica and her partner Mathias remember everything from the skilled residents and nurses, to the kindness of the orderlies, who would check on Monica during the day to ensure she was comfortable. The details count, especially during a stressful time that no expectant mother or father can possibly prepare for.

“I always felt that Monica and the twins were in excellent hands, even when I couldn’t be with them,” Mathias says.

He was comforted by the caring communication and he witnessed between the health care staff and Monica.

“We were impressed to see that each premature newborn in the NICU has his/her own room which is equipped with state-of-art technology, and was taken care of by a team of dedicated and caring nurses.”

At the MUHC, the uniqueness of each pregnancy is kept in mind when the teams work closely with patients and their families, to ensure that they are accompanied through their health care journey.

“Women around the world who bear children all go through their own personal experience. Having had three children myself, I can definitely say there is not one delivery that is the same,” Bourassa explains.

A major concern during the pregnancy was that Beatrice was smaller than her brother in utero. Dr. Benjamin kept a close eye on her development, and nick-named her “the feisty one” in honour of her resilience. When the time came for Beatrice and her brother to enter the world, the team took every necessary precaution for a successful outcome.

“I was touched by how Dr. Benjamin took care of Monica like she was her own daughter,” Mathias recalls.

The couple were relieved when the twins were born. They named them Beatrice and Benjamin (inspired by Dr. Alice Benjamin.) Following their birth, the twins were in the NICU for two weeks, and Beatrice spent four weeks in pediatric care under observation until she was ready to go home.

From the day Monica was admitted to the Birthing Centre to the day she and her family exited the front doors of the hospital, they had experienced the full spectrum of care at MUHC.

“As a patient I got to experience first-hand the top rate health care institution that we are so fortunate to have in our city,” Monica says. “It was not easy to have to stay at the hospital for such a long period of time, but Dr. Benjamin and her team encouraged and motivated me to hang in there and look at each day spent at the hospital as an opportunity for our babies to develop and grow. She said every day was a gift.”

Monica and Mathias are so grateful to be able to watch Benjamin and Beatrice develop into happy, healthy children. So much so that they were inspired to give back to the people and community they say have made this all possible.

For the twins’ first birthday Monica and Mathias started a personal fundraising page through the MUHC Foundation, asking family and friends to make a donation to the MUHC’s Birthing Centre in lieu of a gift. The response was incredible, and they exceeded their fundraising goal, raising nearly $800.

“We’re incredibly grateful every single day… and now we feel compelled to give back.”

To start your own personal fundraising page with the MUHC Foundation please visit: www.muhcfoundation.com