June 21, 2018

Saskatoon Couple Honours Grandchildren with $250,000 Donation to NICU Twin Room

Wayne and Debra Grund are celebrating the good health of their seven grandchildren with an inspiring donation made in the family’s name. The Saskatoon salon owners have gifted $250,000 for a Twin Room in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at the new Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital.

Wayne and Debra Grund and their seven grandchildren.

“We have always known in our hearts that this is a cause we care deeply about,” says Wayne Grund, owner of Visions Salon & Spa and Surface Hair. “After the birth of our twin grandchildren, Abigail and Grace, it became clear that our contribution needed to help give the amazing medical staff in the NICU a leading-edge facility, and give families an environment that is uplifting.”

Like most identical twins, Abigail and Grace shared an amniotic sac; but unlike most twins, they also shared an umbilical cord – a case that affects only one per cent of twin pregnancies. With a pregnancy this extraordinary and rare, the girls were placed in the care of obstetricians in Saskatchewan’s Fetal Assessment Unit which cares for the province’s most complicated pregnancies.

“It was concerning because there was a chance of one baby disrupting the other’s life support,” says Debra Grund. “Because it was such a rare case, there were more frequent check-ins with the specialist. The best thing we could do was support each other and pray everything would be okay.”

Abigail and Grace

Born six weeks prematurely, the twins were assessed in the NICU but due to limited space, they were transported to Regina less than 24 hours after birth. The situation put added strain on the twin’s parents, Jackie and Clay, as they needed to leave their two-year-old daughter back in Saskatoon. In Regina, Abigail and Grace spent five days under careful monitoring, followed by another 10 days in Saskatoon’s NICU.

Abigail and Grace are now healthy, achieving all milestones, and recently celebrated their first birthday. The family is thankful for the outstanding NICU team who kept their babies in good condition last year, but hopeful that the new children’s hospital will help prevent families from experiencing stressful situations like theirs.

“Wayne and Debra Grund’s thoughtful gift holds significant meaning not only in the hearts of their own family, but for many future families in Saskatchewan who find themselves in the NICU with twin babies,” says Brynn Boback-Lane, President and CEO of Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital Foundation. “We are eternally grateful for this special contribution made in honour of the Grund’s healthy grandchildren, acting as a symbol of hope for families who also take on hospital stays.”

Spanning 365 square feet, NICU Twin Rooms in the new children’s hospital will feature two separate headwalls on opposing sides of the room, allowing families to be in the same room with both babies.

This year, the Grunds are celebrating 40 years of business success with family-owned Visions Salons & Spa and Surface Hair. The couple founded Surface Hair as an organic hair and skin care manufacturing company for salon and spas. Wayne is a recipient of the salon industry’s Educator of the Year and Canada’s Governor General Award for outstanding community service. In addition to having his work appear in magazines like Cosmopolitan, Vogue and Chatelaine. Wayne has also appeared on NBC, ABC, CNN, CTV, CBC, and BBC television networks.

Set to open late next year, the NICU will be located on the top floor of Saskatchewan’s new Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital. The 48-bed unit with five twin rooms will allow families to be together while their baby receives care, complete with private rooms for parents to be more involved in their baby’s healing process. $61 million has been raised toward a minimum $75 million goal for Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital Foundation’s ‘We Can’t Wait” capital campaign. Construction on Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital is currently at 87 per cent complete.

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