Full Circle

A little girl returns to give back to the place that helped her.

Born prematurely at St. Michael’s Hospital in June 2006, Isabelle Gudelevicius surprised her anxious first-time parents with her early arrival. Nearly 12 years later, the family has come full circle, with a birthday wish fulfilled and a return to St. Mike’s where it all began.

In lieu of presents, Isabelle asked for donations to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit that had taken such good care of her. She wanted to contribute to what her family calls the hospital’s “heroic, never-ending work” — and in doing so, has become one of our youngest donors.

Inspired by her philanthropic spirit, Dr. Michael Sgro, chief of pediatrics, welcomed Isabelle back to St. Michael’s and took her on a personal tour. Isabelle’s family couldn’t have been happier.

Looking back with fondness on the day she was born, her dad, Christopher Heard, remembers being amazed by the standard of care.

“When we got to the maternity ward, the lovely staff made us feel comfortable and cared for,” Christopher recalls. “After Isabelle came into the world, the nurse placed her tiny, premature body in the apparatus to weigh her. The doctor reached out and touched the tip of his finger to Isabelle’s nose and said a few reassuring words.”

This was the very image of a man grateful for his calling and for his gifts being observed by a new father, even more grateful for that calling and those gifts. — Christopher Heard

Adds Christopher: “A big thank you to Dr. Sgro for his time and care in giving Isabelle a special tour of the facilities she was generously contributing to.”