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Even though most of us have never met face to face we are linked in our enjoyment of the Blue Jays and our love of baseball. We share this bond so when something bad happens to one of us we can empathize that someone, whose virtual company we enjoy, is suffering.

Our own John Northey has recently lost his wife due to complications from childbirth. John now has four young children, including a newborn, to look after.

John recently reached out to the roster for some help. John thought he would have a wife at home to look after his children but now he has to become Mr. Mom and he has to look for home help, or a nanny, without having prepared for that eventuality. He needs to decide quickly how to setup his, and his kids, life.

We don't know if any of you have had to go through something like this. We don't know if any of you are single parents. But John is looking for any advice you might have. The old saying is a problem shared is a problem halved so we hope someof you might be able to help.

John has continued to post during this time, as a distratction he says. The Jays playoff push, long shot as it was, helped John think of something else besides real life issues. John lives in Thunder Bay. So Bauxites, John would appreciate any help you could give.

From John: For nanny services I have no idea what are reputable groups/sites to go to. Checking online I see many but have no clue if any are any good. Obviously I want to be getting as safe/good a person as possible. Funny thing is I've been checking with services I already use (various children groups that provide free services) and none have any clue.

There are possibilities for non-live in care but that will cost more as I'd need a few people instead of just one and that also adds stress over 'shift changes' and needing to interview more people. At least after a year or so it'll get easier as she learns to sleep through the night. If I didn't need to work it'd be easier but that isn't realistic. I do wonder how single parents do it who don't have the supports I have had so far.

Also, I started a special bank account (my mother pressed me to do so) for people to deposit any donations to help with Katrina's care as nanny's aren't cheap, especially on just one income (we did have life insurance, which will cover our debts). It is at CIBC 04087/81-53884 under my and Katrina's name. Feel bad about asking anyone for help there, so far just over $3k in there which will help.

Still hard to believe she isn't going to just come by and surprise me. Hopefully none of you will ever have to go through something like this - the high of the baby at 1:46 AM and the low of seeing her heart stop and a massive team of doctors/nurses/etc. trying to revive her around 4 AM. A 1 in 100,000 shot of that happening in Canada and we drew the short straw.

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John Northey - Wednesday, September 24 2014 @ 11:24 AM EDT (#293892) #
Thanks Gerry for posting this.  I felt guilty mentioning it to anyone as I tend to keep personal life separate from online life since I know this site could easily be overwhelmed with everyone's day-to-day issues.  This has been the hardest time of my life to get through but luckily I've had some great support from my wife's best friend who has taken a leave of absence from work (she is a nurse practitioner so fantastic help with the baby) to help until I can set up things.  I've seen a few things online for nanny services but have no idea which are safe to use, which are bogus, and how to find one who would be able to handle some of the headaches here.  My 4 girls are all getting through, some better than others.  My own grief hasn't hit fully yet as there is a lot to deal with so crashing hasn't been able to happen.  Each time I try one of the girls needs me or a phone call comes in (we are involved with a few children services in town) or a major work nightmare happens (I work from home as a .net programmer).

FYI: email transfers are possible for donations (I still feel guilty asking for those but I know the costs for the girls will be high and now it is a single income with no benefits) to my main email address john at northeyfamily dot com (trying to minimize spam by doing it that way). 
JB21 - Wednesday, September 24 2014 @ 11:34 AM EDT (#293893) #
I'm so sorry John.
jerjapan - Wednesday, September 24 2014 @ 11:38 AM EDT (#293894) #
Heartbroken to hear this John.  My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. 
Chuck - Wednesday, September 24 2014 @ 12:06 PM EDT (#293897) #
John, my most sincere sympathies. I cannot for a moment presume to imagine the pain that you are feeling or the depth of the daunting task that you now face.
Mike Green - Wednesday, September 24 2014 @ 12:16 PM EDT (#293898) #
I am so sorry to hear of this, John.

The best possible situation is if you know someone who has a nanny and you ask the nanny if they know someone who would be suitable.  You can then interview the person to form your own opinion.  In Toronto, it is common for nannies to collaborate (and even sometimes share among many an apartment where each stays a couple of nights a week or something).  Often the nannies will come from the same immigrant background or religious affiliation.  I really have no idea how the "nanny market" works in Thunder Bay.  I would however be nervous about using the internet to find a person for this role. 

vw_fan17 - Wednesday, September 24 2014 @ 12:37 PM EDT (#293899) #
John, I'm sure words cannot describe the what you are feeling right now. My sincerest wishes and prayers are with you and your family.
Four Seamer - Wednesday, September 24 2014 @ 12:38 PM EDT (#293900) #

My sincerest condolences.  I too wouldn't dare to contemplate the grief you must be feeling or the road ahead of you, but I hope you and your daughters find a measure of peace in the challenging times ahead.

John Northey - Wednesday, September 24 2014 @ 12:57 PM EDT (#293901) #
Thanks for the condolences.  I hope none of you ever have to go through something like this.  Her family was in major shock as we all wonder how this can happen in a first world country in a hospital where the emergency team was there in seconds when 'code blue' was called.  It seems her body rejected the blood they gave her and they gave her tons (20 units).  The doctors couldn't believe it was happening, the nurses were sure she'd pull through early on, but my mom (who I talked to on the phone while waiting for her heart to be restarted) knew right away what the end result would be thus came up here right away (18 hour drive roughly from her place in southern Ontario to here).  The sight of them doing CPR and the sadness of knowing I was holding her and reassuring all would be OK when her heart stopped the first time was overwhelming.

Typing this is helping a bit...the more I talk/type it the more I can deal with it. As I said, I hope none of you go through something like this - 38 is far too young to die.  FYI: her obituary and a photo gallery (I picked nearly 200 photos, her mom picked around 50) are online as well.
mathesond - Wednesday, September 24 2014 @ 01:28 PM EDT (#293905) #
John, I am so sorry to hear what happened, I can't imagine what you are going through. I wish I was in a position to be able to offer you more help - I was thinking of linking this article to BBTF, to see if there are any Thunder Bay readers there, but wasn't sure how public you want to go.
Original Ryan - Wednesday, September 24 2014 @ 01:30 PM EDT (#293906) #
Very sorry to hear this, John. I can't even begin to imagine what you and your kids are going through right now.
John Northey - Wednesday, September 24 2014 @ 01:39 PM EDT (#293907) #
Going fully public is fine - we printed the obituary in the KW Record, Atikokan Progress, Chronicle Journal (Thunder Bay), Fort Frances Times, and Georgetown Independent so it is out there.

I'm still trying to find a few phone numbers for people Cheryl knew who I didn't really know that well (old friends from university) as she never told me her email password (why would she after all).  I figure I'll run into people next summer who didn't know which will be hard but all one can do is their best to try to contact people. 

FYI: if we get more than enough money to help with Katrina's care the plan for the money is to use it for the kids education funds.  If, by some miracle, we get more than enough for that (unlikely) my oldest has a dream she'd like to fulfill - one of starting a special camp (once she is an adult) where she could have kids in foster care live as a 'forever home' if they cannot get adopted.  We adopted her years ago as an older child and she doesn't want to see kids trapped in the system like she so easily could've been.  Figured I might as well do a 'pie in the sky' like you see on Kickstarter.  You all see how every year I predict the Jays will win it all or at least make the playoffs as optimism is a lot more fun than pessimism I find and I try to apply that to all things, even nightmares like this.
tecumseh18 - Wednesday, September 24 2014 @ 01:51 PM EDT (#293908) #
Terrible news, John. As a father of two young kids (7 and 5), a baseball fan AND a former Green Party candidate (2007 provincially and 2008 federally), this hits me close to home. First (or actually second) world country or not, childbirth is never a gimme. Neither of our two were easy births, and the second one was about 10 seconds away from being an emergency c-section when my son's shoulder got caught rounding third base and heading for home. "Decel in Room 3" I still remember the PA announcing shortly before a flood of doctors ran in and jumped on my wife's abdomen to squeeze him out. Now, he's got a complete Jays outfit and loves playing catcher, but whew, that was close.

Last week, the Ontario Court of Appeal dismissed a couple of appeals from families in alleged negligence cases with respect to childbirth complications. In one, the mother had died. We try to find answers by way of seeking closure, but sometimes "crap happens". And this was really crappy. I hope Katrina is well.
Mylegacy - Wednesday, September 24 2014 @ 02:24 PM EDT (#293914) #
John, I'm so sorry. I can't even begin to think what you must be going through.

I'm so sorry...

John Northey - Wednesday, September 24 2014 @ 02:31 PM EDT (#293917) #
We had a scare during birth as well - the heart rate was dropping and the doctor was sounding a bit panicked as he kept saying 'we need this baby out NOW'.  He was getting some equipment to help brought over as Cheryl did a major final push - I'll never forget the look on her face as she did not want to lose this baby and put every last bit she had into that last push.  I can't help but wonder if she knew at that moment it was near her end - that only one of them was going to make it given the look and how I only had a few brief sentences with her - her telling me how Katrina had my nose and telling me the name (she had final say on the baby name...all I knew for sure was it started with a K and Kathleen was the middle name, after my Nana).  The rest of our talking was near the end with her saying she couldn't breathe (which could've been a panic attack) then that she couldn't see (which I'd never heard from her before) before the end came.

It is funny though how many of us have similar interests.  Odds of a board this size have two Green Party candidates has to be low.

electric carrot - Wednesday, September 24 2014 @ 02:51 PM EDT (#293921) #
This is terrible, terrible, terrible news.  And I can't imagine a less deserving person for this to happen to.  Very sorry John.
finch - Wednesday, September 24 2014 @ 04:56 PM EDT (#293927) #
Very sad to hear! We all love ya here at the box! We all have heavy hearts for you during this difficult time!!
christaylor - Wednesday, September 24 2014 @ 06:52 PM EDT (#293932) #
My condolences John.
CeeBee - Wednesday, September 24 2014 @ 07:35 PM EDT (#293934) #
This is heart breaking sad news. My thoughts and prayers go out to you. My situation was nothing in comparison as mine was a walk-away, leave the kids ending in a divorce so I raised 2 boys from age 3 and 6. Luckily my mother lived in the same small town and was able to do a lot of helping out when I was at work. That was 32 years ago and now I'm a 3 time grandfather so no matter the darkest hour things will work out for you. I'm glad Gerry posted for you. We may all be Blue Jay/baseball fans here and most of us have never met in person but in a sense we are family.
bpoz - Wednesday, September 24 2014 @ 07:44 PM EDT (#293935) #
I am very sorry John.
greenfrog - Wednesday, September 24 2014 @ 08:48 PM EDT (#293937) #
I'm so sorry for your loss, John.
AWeb - Wednesday, September 24 2014 @ 09:33 PM EDT (#293939) #
That's awful news John, my condolences. Try and find friends and family that you can lean on as much as you can.
Super Bluto - Wednesday, September 24 2014 @ 09:48 PM EDT (#293940) #
My sincere condolences on your loss, John. Be well.
JohnL - Wednesday, September 24 2014 @ 10:00 PM EDT (#293941) #
I echo everyone's sentiments John. Sincere condolences to you and all your families.

I rarely post, but have appreciated all your contributions and efforts, going back to the old newsgroup, and while appreciative of your detailed baseball analysis, I've been more impressed with the constant decency and respect you've always shown everyone.

I'm afraid I have no suggestions to help your situation, not having ever had children, but assume you must have many people around who care about you and your children.
scottt - Thursday, September 25 2014 @ 07:25 AM EDT (#293943) #
Sad to read this. My condolences John. I wish I had advice to share.
85bluejay - Thursday, September 25 2014 @ 07:42 AM EDT (#293944) #
So Sad - My deepest condolences John to you & your family - I cannot imagine your pain.
Paul D - Thursday, September 25 2014 @ 08:14 AM EDT (#293945) #
Terrible news, my condolences Jon.
rpriske - Thursday, September 25 2014 @ 08:30 AM EDT (#293946) #
I am so sorry. What a horrible thing. My thoughts are with you.
eldarion - Thursday, September 25 2014 @ 09:24 AM EDT (#293947) #
Just awful news. I'm so sorry for your loss, John.
John Northey - Thursday, September 25 2014 @ 10:03 AM EDT (#293951) #
Thanks again to all who have donated to help me take care of Katrina. I am amazed by how generous some have been, not just financially but also in words. A way to help also is to hold tight to your loved ones - remind them that you love them each and every day. My wife always loved that I would do little things - kiss her hand when we were at stop lights (always got my 9 year old going 'ew' but I saw the smiles from the kids too), hold her hand while walking, tell her she was sexy to me throughout the pregnancy and before that too, talk about dreams for the future and remember good times from the past. One of my favorite things was to do the '12 days of Christmas' each year - for 12 days (Christmas being day 12) I'd give her little gifts (often dollar store items) just to show her I loved her and so I could see the big smiles on her face as she opened the silliest things. I strongly recommend it for everyone here to do with their significant other - costs very little but makes you think about them each day for nearly 2 weeks and gives you that special moment each day that they'll look forward to. I did it every year we were together, from dating to marriage to kids for 12 years, 144 gifts in total and worth every second, every penny, and right now every tear it is causing as I type it.
MatO - Thursday, September 25 2014 @ 10:12 AM EDT (#293953) #
Awful news. Hang in there John. Our eldest son has epilepsy and other complications that we believe stem from the use of forceps to turn him when he was born. I know of two couples who lost their babies at childbirth. It's still a relatively risky thing even today.
BalzacChieftain - Thursday, September 25 2014 @ 11:12 AM EDT (#293956) #

Horrible news.. So very sorry. Heartbreaking.

ayjackson - Thursday, September 25 2014 @ 12:56 PM EDT (#293961) #
I'm so sorry, John. My thoughts are with you. Be strong.
Hodgie - Thursday, September 25 2014 @ 01:16 PM EDT (#293963) #
Words cannot accurately express my most heartfelt sympathies John. As a husband and father I can only imagine the magnitude of the pain you are experiencing. I will never be confused with a religious man but what prayers I have go out to you and your family.
John Northey - Thursday, September 25 2014 @ 01:25 PM EDT (#293964) #
I can't imagine how it would've destroyed Cheryl had the baby died and she survived.  We lost one years ago at 15 weeks and it was crazy painful for us for a long time.  They were getting ready to use forceps but she did the ultimate effort to get that baby out and it came out.  Katrina is now very alert and seems happy (hard to tell when they can't talk but you can guess).
TamRa - Thursday, September 25 2014 @ 10:12 PM EDT (#293987) #
so so so sorry to hear this.

regarding your question about nannies, you might want to try a site like Angie's List

sam - Friday, September 26 2014 @ 03:22 AM EDT (#293990) #
This is terrible news. My deepest condolences.
laketrout - Friday, September 26 2014 @ 10:14 AM EDT (#294003) #
I'm so sorry John, my heart goes out to you and your family.
Lugnut Fan - Friday, September 26 2014 @ 03:20 PM EDT (#294010) #
So sorry to hear this John.  Something so heartbreaking and tragic as this really puts the disagreements and arguments that we have over a simple game into perspective.  I will include you in my prayers and pray for you during this difficult time.  Hopefully you are look at your children, you are able to see all the good you created with your wife as they contain a part of her as well.
John Northey - Friday, September 26 2014 @ 11:38 PM EDT (#294036) #
Thanks all for the well wishes.  I was asked about donations from the US and it is possible it seems via PayPal if you go to and enter my email address (listed above).

I am amazed at how many have donated so far. If I have figured it out correctly I'm around $1,000 from just people in the baseball groups which surprised me as I have only met (in person) a few of you.  If any of you are up here in Thunder Bay give a holler - especially in the summer when we could go to a Border Cats game.  Hit one with my 9 year old last summer and we had a blast.  College kids playing, but they do a decent job and it is fun to imagine one making it someday.  Plus all seats are good seats.
vw_fan17 - Saturday, September 27 2014 @ 02:35 PM EDT (#294047) #
Not trying to interfere/worry anyone, but if anyone has difficulties sending $$ from the US or wants to cut out the middle-man conversion fees, I can help (I've already sent John some $$ so he can vouch for me). Same userid at yahoo period com.
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