One of the things we’ve noticed at BC Women’s is that there’s a trend where former patients return to the hospital at some capacity whether it is to volunteer or join the team as a hospital staff member or health care provider.
One such example is the homecoming of a former tiny patient who was just 30 weeks of gestational age. Jonathan Wong was born at BC Women’s nee Grace Hospital, and spent approximately four weeks in the NICU.
Growing up, Jonathan didn’t really know much about the time he spent in the NICU as it was an especially scary and difficult time for the Wongs, too painful to recount other than the bare basics of letting Jonathan know that he was born early.
The mystery behind his stay at BC Women’s led Jonathan to request his medical records years later while he was in university. What he discovered sparked his interest and became one of the drivers that led him to pursue medicine.
“When I began pediatric residency, my very first rotation was actually in the NICU,” says Jonathan. “It was busy, intimidating, and at times stressful...but I loved it. I enjoyed the acuity, the medicine, the ability to work with my hands doing procedures, and of course the people.”
Jonathan describes the staff in the NICU as being the most dedicated and caring people that he knows, and the families are the bravest and strongest. The little patients are often the most fragile yet the most resilient one will ever meet. As Jonathan was going through his neonatal training, he had a persistent thought in the back of his mind: ‘wouldn’t it be neat if I ended up working at the place where I was born, amongst the people who took care of me so many years ago?’
Dr. Wong joined BC Women’s as a neonatologist eight months ago and is fitting in nicely. “Everyone here in the NICU has been friendly and welcoming. You can see the group’s commitment and I think that people do ‘wear their hearts on their sleeves’ as shown through the work that they do each day. It’s been a blessing to be part of the team here.”
Not only has Jonathan’s aspiration to become a doctor at BC Women’s come to fruition, but he also had the opportunity to personally thank and meet Dr. Paul Thiessen, who was the attending physician when he was born.