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Ontario Hansard - 19-March2008

Mr. Frank Klees: Today is Prematurity Awareness Day. It is dedicated to the children who are born pre-term, or prior to 37 weeks of pregnancy, and their families. Thousands of pre-term babies each year are admitted to neonatal intensive care units across Ontario and are entrusted to the expert care of neonatologists, who ensure they receive the highest level of care possible.

Joining us in the House today are Lauren and Sam Pezzullo, of Newmarket. On July 5, 2003, Lauren gave birth to her premature baby son, Linden, weighing 3.3 pounds. Lauren and her husband, Sam, stood vigil as Linden went from one medical crisis to another, including 16 lumbar punctures, three blood transfusions, respiratory distress syndrome and a brain bleed. Lauren and Sam were asked several times if they wanted Linden's life support turned off, but they would not give up their vigil.

Today, their son, Linden, is a happy and healthy five-year-old. To help other parents with premature babies, Lauren and Sam established the Linden Fund, a charity that raises money to buy equipment for neonatal intensive care units across Canada. A number of volunteers of the Linden Fund are with us today as well.

On behalf of all members of this Legislature and all Ontarians, I express our gratitude to Lauren and Sam Pezzullo and the many volunteers who make the work of the Linden Fund possible. I ask all members to welcome them and encourage them in their work.

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