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Siblings bookend hospital's Oh Baby campaign

Mom Kim Voth

Two years after Vienna Voth was revealed as the poster child for Peace Arch Hospital’s Oh Baby campaign – which launched six months after she was born in the former maternity ward – the toddler’s sister has marked the completion of the renovated unit by being one of the first babies delivered in it.

Annika was born Jan. 16 at 10:30 p.m., days after the new ward was finished and opened.

The department went from a 1960s-style model with one private recovery room, shared showers and no space for fathers to sleep, to a modern space with eight single-family birthing rooms that include a private bathroom, fridge, TV and bed for dads that can also be used as a couch for visitors.

The timing of her daughters’ births meant Panorama Ridge mom Kim Voth – who was also born at Peace Arch – experienced both versions of the ward.

“It felt more like a hotel than a hospital,” she said of the updated rooms. “They tucked the equipment away, too, so it doesn’t feel so medical.”

Patients of the new ward are now able to labour, deliver and recover in one 400-square-foot room.

“For visitors it was great; I could have lots of people in there,” Voth said, noting both her and husband Graham’s family were in the room together. “It was very comfortable.”

Voth said Vienna – who is used to seeing her picture in and around the hospital – is an affectionate sister, who likes to hold Annika, kiss her head and give her a soother.

Now two years old, Vienna will cut the ribbon – and possibly the cake – at a 3 p.m. ceremony tomorrow (Thursday) that will see major donors, dignitaries and project partner Fraser Health officially open and celebrate the new ward.