Pictured are Jo-Ann Pelletier and Billy Long, who welcomed their baby into the world six weeks early, on Jan. 1, 2022. (Submitted file)

Pictured are Jo-Ann Pelletier and Billy Long, who welcomed their baby into the world six weeks early, on Jan. 1, 2022. (Submitted file)

GoFundMe started for East Kootenay’s New Year’s baby and family

Baby Lennon and her mom were recently flown to Kelowna so baby can be cared for in NICU

A GoFundMe has been started for Cranbrook’s New Years baby, who was born six weeks early and is now at the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) in Kelowna.

Jo-Ann Pelletier and Billy Long welcomed their baby girl, Lennon, into the world on New Year’s Day at East Kootenay Regional Hospital (EKRH).

Lennon arrived six weeks ahead of schedule, and at the time they were not sure if they would need to go to a NICU, as EKRH does not have one. When Pelletier spoke to the Townsman just a few days after giving birth, it was not yet decided if the family would be able to go home or not.

As it turns out, Pelletier and Lennon were sent to Kelowna shortly thereafter where the baby is being monitored.

Pelletier says that Lennon is “finally” gaining weight and starting to eat on her own, and the two are, “doing much better now.”

She adds that the GoFundMe page was started before they were transported, and there was a last minute change of plans landing them at the Kelowna hospital, not Vernon as the fundraiser states.

“It’s been very hard being away from home, so far it’s just Lennon and I here,” Pelletier said. “Hopefully when we get close to being discharged, Dad and her older sister will make their way here and we can finally go home. We’re not entirely sure how long we’re going to be here for – maybe another week or two.”

READ: East Kootenay’s New Year’s baby welcomed six weeks early

The fundraiser was started by Pelletier’s friend Sonya Morigeau, and she says the funds will be used to help the family while the baby continues to grow.

“Billy will be staying home until him and their other daughter, Naeh, are able to travel,” Morigeau wrote. “On top of baby arriving early, the whole family was recovering from COVID-19.”

Funds will help with anything Pelletier and her baby need while they are in Kelowna, as well as travel costs for when they are able to bring baby Lennon home.

“Please send, if anything, good vibes and lots of love to the new family,” wrote Morigeau.

The GoFundMe page can be found here.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.