P.E.I. man's drive to raise money for NICU is a success

A P.E.I. man's wish to help raise enough money to support babies in need of treatment in a local hospital has now come true.

After seeing his niece's baby in the neonatal intensive care unit, Doug MacDougall, 68 of Prince Edward Island knew he wanted to help other babies in need. MacDougall's niece, Shannon Moore said her daughter Ruth had to use a biliblanket lights for her jaundice when she was born.

But before her uncle could put his words into action, he passed away in July.  Luckily, his family found an article that he left behind with notes that helped them pursue his wishes.

"The article was about biliblankets. The Queen Elizabeth Hospital foundation put out an article that said that biliblankets were $6,000 a piece," said Moore.

"It had my name on the top of it, Nelsons and with a little note that said 100 men, with $100 dollars would equal $10,000 dollars."

Based on a note he left behind, MacDougall wanted to gather up 100 men that would donate $100 each, which would be enough money to pay for biliblankets and other special equipment needed for the hospital's NICU.

The hospital's NICU nurse manager, Kathy Larter, said the blanket allows mothers and baby to spend time together.

"They used to have to lay in a hard bed and get the light then and it kept mom and baby apart but this way they can stay together."

MacDougall's long-time friend Dave Gillis said he would share his perspective with anyone that would listen.

"He really pushed for men to take a broader role in that overall idea and the experience Shannon had, the need for equipment to support her situation offered a great opportunity in Doug's mind," said Gillis.

At the time, MacDougall said the hospital only had two of those blankets. Now with the funds raised, it will be enough to pay for neonatal cots and other specialized equipment.

In a matter of days, the online fundraiser in Doug's memory surpassed its goal and has raised $15,575 for the neonatal unit.

"He just went above and beyond for others and I think that's what people have done in donating. I think that is a beautiful thing because it shows and speaks to who Doug was as a person," said Moore.