Tragedy has struck a family that just a few days ago was celebrating the birth of the first child born in Toronto in 2012.
Ming Shui was born just 40 seconds into the new year. His parents were elated to welcome a son.
"I feel happy. I feel exciting for the baby," said mother Li Zhang of her 6 pound 14 ounce baby boy.
But that excitement changed just days later.
The baby was scheduled to return to the hospital for a checkup but the family missed that appointment. Another appointment was scheduled and missed again.
Just five days after he was born, Ming Shui was dead. The cause is not known.
Scarborough Hospital released a statement saying, "this is an extremely tragic situation, and our deepest sympathies are with this family during this very difficult time. The case has been referred to the coroner's office, as is the normal procedure, and the hospital will conduct a thorough internal review as well, as is our normal procedure."
The family moved to Canada this past year and on the day his son was born, Yichuan Lei spoke of what little help they have.
"In China I have relatives to help me but not here," said Lei, "only those nurse and a doctor."
Toronto Public Health has a program that checks in with families after babies are born, including a home visit if parents agree.
"There are any number of things that can make having a baby a difficult and challenging time in a family's life, so we aim to try and provide support to families during that time," said Susan Makin of Toronto Public Health.
Other immigrant centres offers prenatal and other health classes but the director of one centre says some immigrants simply don't make use of the services.
"A lot of newcomers used to rely on their extended family or their parents for wisdom. Now has to take on a different context. They need to rely on the community resources. So that is a shift for the newcomer. They need to know these kind of services are available," said May Wong-Tam of the Centre for Information and Community Services.
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