Finnair Plus point donations were a great help for a family with a small premature baby boy
Finnair and The Association of Friends of the University Children's Hospitals have worked together for years to fly families of patients needing help. With the help of the Finnair Plus award point collaboration, long-distance patients and their families are flown to children's university hospitals and back home to recover from heavy treatment periods. This was also the case for Janne and Päivi’s family.
Tiny Narsku’s first months
Janne and Päivi's family had a small premature baby boy via emergency C-section in March 2022. The boy, Narsku by his nickname, weighed only 1,005 grams when he was born. After Narsku's birth, the family spent about two and a half months in the neonatal intensive care unit at Oulu University Hospital.
At the time, Narsku's condition was surprisingly good for a premature baby. The boy’s mother Päivi used to travel for 1.5 hours by car to the hospital almost every day. Sometimes the family spent nights at a nearby hotel with the help of hotel vouchers donated by The Association of Friends of the University Children's Hospitals. Finally, at the end of May, Narsku was able to go home. However, the family got to spend only one day at home, before they had to return to the hospital: Narsku had stopped eating and was doleful and vomiting green liquid. In the hospital, he was diagnosed with an intestinal blockage, and his condition worsened even more.
At the beginning of June 2022, Narsku underwent a colostomy. The surgery was difficult and Narsku was in the children's intensive care unit on a ventilator for a week and in the ward for a total of a month. For one reason or another, the stoma did not work, instead, his condition worsened and he got two bad infections. During the latter one, the baby’s vital functions decreased so much that the family had to fear losing their baby boy. Finally, Narsku was transferred to the New Children's Hospital in Helsinki.
Narsku and his mother Päivi were admitted to the New Children's Hospital in June 2022. In the following July, Narsku underwent several major surgeries, because due to the intestinal bend in the intestine, almost the entire small intestine had gone to necrosis, causing a severe short bowel syndrome. After the last operation, the surgeons said that they could no longer help and that Narsku would have to begin hospice care if his condition worsened. The parents had to live in uncertainty and great fear, hoping for a miracle. Fortunately, a miracle did happen: Narsku wasn’t going to give up!
Finnair Plus points provided relief for the challenging everyday life
Since Finland's best and most professional gastrosurgery, gastroenterology and treatment of small intestine children is at the New Children's Hospital in Helsinki, a move closer to home was not possible for the family. The parents also wanted their son to finally get the best help available, even though life apart at a distance of almost 1,000 kilometers was really difficult and burdensome for them.
Narsku and Päivi stayed in the New Children's Hospital for about a year, from June 2022 until the end of June 2023. It was impossible for Janne, the father of the family, to be in Helsinki for long periods of time due to his work and the other children in the family, so flying between home and Helsinki saved him a lot of time. And most importantly, all the precious time was used with Narsku at the hospital, instead of driving for hours. The Finnair Plus points that the family received through the association have been an invaluable help, making the long journey easier and faster in a difficult life situation.
From Midsummer 2023, Narsku got to practice life at home for four months. In October 2023, he got a severe infection again and had to spend a month at the New Children's Hospital once more. In the future, Päivi and Janne's family will also need a lot of care from Helsinki's New Children's Hospital, at regular intervals and always if something more serious appears.
Päivi and Janne are infinitely thankful for anyone who’s donated their Finnair Plus points: “The donated points truly go to families in need, bringing them relief in the middle of huge worries and sadness.”
The cooperation with The Association of Friends of the University Children's hospitals
Finnair has worked together with The Association of Friends of the University Children's Hospitals already from 1990s to fly families of patients needing help. This year, we have also made a donation to the association, which we hope will help many young patients and their families.
At Finnair Shop, you can donate your Finnair Plus award points to The Association of Friends of the University Children's hospitals. The minimum donation is 1,000 points. With the help of the Finnair Plus award point collaboration, long-distance patients and their families are flown to children's university hospitals and back home to recover from heavy treatment periods. In addition, patients are flown, for example, on a recreational trip to Helsinki in the fall to see the Elämä Lapselle (Life for Children) charity concert. Through the collaboration, some parents are also offered the opportunity to participate in a much-needed pampering day.
The Association of Friends of the University Children's hospitals is a charity organisation founded in 1993 that supports children's health in Finland through its activities. They support Finland’s five university children’s hospitals in Helsinki, Tampere, Turku, Oulu and Kuopio. The support areas include pediatric research, the development of treatment methods and innovations, equipment purchases, the comfort of patients and their families in the hospital and mental health of children and adolescents.