It’s not every day that you get a visit from a patient that you worried might not make it. Last month, eight-year-old Isa Guerrero and his family paid a visit to Dr. Pascal Lavoie and his research team at BC Children’s Hospital Research Institute. Dr. Lavoie is a BC Children’s Hospital investigator and neonatologist at BC Children's and BC Women's Hospital + Health Centre.

In 2009, Isa was a patient of Dr. Lavoie’s in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at BC Women’s. Isa was born prematurely at 28 weeks gestation, weighing only 849 grams. As most newborns do, Isa lost weight during the first few days and dropped to 770 grams, falling into the category of micro-preemie.

Through his care from Dr. Lavoie and the NICU team, Isa not only survived but gained weight and thrived, quickly earning the nickname “little superstar” from Dr. Lavoie.

Isa spent a month in the NICU and returned to BC Children’s for follow-up appointments for the first few years of his life. As the years passed, Isa continued to grow and flourish, hitting milestone after milestone.

During his visit to the BC Children’s Hospital Research Institute, Isa learned about the research that Dr. Lavoie and his team do to find ways to protect infants born prematurely like Isa, from infection-related complications in the NICU and from deadly viruses during the first year of infancy.

Today, Isa’s mom Farha describes him as a healthy, happy and warm eight-year-old boy who loves meeting new people. He’s a fearless skier and has even been known to tackle double black diamond runs in Whistler. He shares his big brother’s interest in quantum physics and has a keen interest in biology. On any given day, you might find him on the slopes, studying insects at school, playing guitar or learning how to play the drums. Isa continues to amaze and is definitely living up to his “superstar” status.