Back to Top Justin Yan returns to the General Campus seventeen years later to give back to The Ottawa Hospital - The Ottawa Hospital

Justin Yan returns to the General Campus seventeen years later to give back to The Ottawa Hospital


Justin Yan NICU

On June 12, 1995 Justin Yan was born at the General Campus sixteen weeks early, weighing only 1.5 pounds.  The tiny baby was kept in the NICU and relied on oxygen because of his under-developed lungs and a tiny hole in his heart.  After five months, Justin’s parents were finally able to take him home and he remained on oxygen assistance until he was one year old.

Now at the age of seventeen, Justin is a healthy teenager attending Ashbury High School with a passion for art. As a school project, Justin’s class was asked to create a piece of art relating to a social issue. Justin focused on the “fragility of life” – his own personal story as a pre-mature baby

Justin worked on his project from October through to April. He used special clay to create the 1.5 pound baby that he once was, and dressed it with the hat and boots he wore for the first five months of his life. He placed the clay baby in an aquarium to symbolize an incubator, and portraits of his parents and grandparents were positioned to demonstrate that they were watching over Justin when he was born.

Justin recently displayed his award winning piece of art in the NICU at the General Campus and was reunited with his primary nurse, Christine Smith,  who took care of him during his five month stay at the hospital as a newborn.

“I wanted to tell my story and help any other parents going through the same thing as mine did,” says Justin. “To any parents who have a pre-mature baby with complications like I had, remember to stay strong, there’s always hope.”


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