[North Bay, Ontario] – The 10th annual Farquhar Chrysler Charity Golf Tournament continues to support babies and their families by ensuring access to the best possible care, close to home. The tournament raised an inspiring $21,000 for the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at North Bay Regional Health Centre (NBRHC).
Tournament co-chairs, Geoff and Tracy Richardson who picked up the reigns from the Murphy Family shared their enthusiasm for the cause. “We stepped forward to host this tournament because our hospital is important to us and we feel it is a fun way to help families,” shared Geoff. “We are excited that so many loyal participants joined us along with our Honorary Chair and tournament founder, Dennis Murphy.”
Funds raised by the tournament are supporting the purchase of a retinal camera used to diagnose Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP). It is a potentially blinding eye disorder that can affect premature infants. New retinal camera technology allows clinicians to perform the retinal exam, capturing digital images, which was traditionally done manually by an ophthalmologist.
The images of the infant’s retina can then be examined virtually by an ophthalmologist for signs of ROP. Premature babies who may be at risk for ROP are carefully monitored and examined for the condition at three, six and nine weeks after birth, before they can be discharged from the hospital. ROP has no signs or symptoms when it first develops in a newborn. The only way to diagnose it is through an eye exam.
This risk was a stark reality for Paige and Greg Metzger. Their daughter Sophie was born prematurely and smaller than expected for her gestational age, she was at a high risk of developing ROP. Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto, scheduled Sophie’s first eye exam for four weeks after her birth, followed by exams at intervals so that they could ensure Sophie received the necessary follow-up ROP exams. Because NBRHC was not able to guarantee an ophthalmologist would be available to perform the exams locally, Sophie would have had to travel to Sudbury for these eye exams.
“When we heard that Sophie might not be able to come home unless we could guarantee proper follow-up for her ROP exams, we felt overwhelming anxiety, sadness, and stress. We lacked support in Toronto and Greg had to return to North Bay due to work and education commitments. Those were difficult days until we finally received the news that Sophie could be transferred home as the ophthalmologist became available to perform the exams,” shared Paige Metzger. “Having our baby at our local hospital was the best thing for our family.”
“We are grateful that our community is one step closer to acquiring this specialized camera that costs $150,000,” says Chantal Gagne, Director Medical & Surgical Programs at NBRHC. “It will ensure that ROP screening is removed as a barrier for premature babies who are receiving care at tertiary hospitals to be transferred to their community hospitals. We are always focused on providing care closest to home, keeping families together during these stressful life events.”
“Medical equipment purchases are made possible through a partnership between the government, hospital and our community. Businesses, individuals, families and groups support our hospital in a variety of ways throughout the year, including monthly and memorial donations, gifts in Wills, corporate sponsorships and multi-year commitments. We are eternally grateful to the Murphy Family and the Richardson’s for their dedication to our tiny patients,” said Tammy Morison, President and CEO NBRHC Foundation.
Greg & Paige Metzger with their daughter Sophie
Tammy Morison and Kendra Clarke, NBRHC Foundation; Geoff and Tracy Richardson, Tournament Co-Chairs; Caitlyn Murphy, Representing the Murphy Family and Tournament Volunteer
Annually, more than 700 babies are born at NBRHC. The NICU is a high-risk referral centre for areas surrounding North Bay. Thousands of babies have been helped during their most critical time of need.
The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at the North Bay Regional Health Centre cares for acutely ill neonates and their families. Nurses provide around the clock care to the hospital’s tiniest patients.
Since 2014, the Farquhar Chrysler Charity Golf Tournament, has helped raised more than $200,000 supporting our youngest patients.
- 2014 – Cribette and Biliblanket
- 2015 – Pediatric Cardiac Monitor
- 2016 – Pediatric Cardiac Monitor
- 2017 – SiPAP Machine and Infusion Pump
- 2018 – Isolette and Chairs
- 2019 – Giraffe Isolette
- 2021 – Fetal Monitor
- 2022 – Hugs® Infant Security System