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Lee and Lacey Paquette with their newborn identical triplet sons Emmett, Wyatt, and Sawyer. Submitted photo.

Trying times for Alexandria parents with newborn triplets

Imagine welcoming triplets to your family. Now imagine being unemployed and in the midst of a pandemic. That is exactly what has happened to the Paquette family of Alexandria.  On May 29, Lacey Paquette gave birth to identical triplets Emmett, Wyatt, and Sawyer.  Four weeks before they were born, she was told by her doctor to leave work and go on bed rest.  Her husband Lee had to leave his job as the receiver at a local Shoppers Drug Mart so he could be at home to look after her and their two year-old son Damien.

Lee applied for Employment Insurance (EI) and it took seven weeks before payments began to arrive.  He also applied for federal COVID-19 benefits but was not eligible because he had left his job before the minimum qualification date.

“It’s just bad timing,” said Lee.

The situation has left the young family in a difficult position financially.  They started a GoFundMe campaign to raise some cash to pay their bills and keep food on the table.  The Jean-Coutu drugstore in Alexandria also donated $1,500 in gift cards for the Paquette’s to use on whatever merchandise they need.

“It was really incredible to receive that,” Lee said.

He does not anticipate that he will be able to return to work for another six months due to his help being needed at home.

Due to the fragile health of the infant triplets, they had to remain in hospital in Ottawa until they were healthy enough to go home to Alexandria.  The cost of making those daily trips to Ottawa has begun to add up, according to Lee.

As of June 22, the GoFundMe campaign had raised $1,775 toward its $10,000 goal.  For more information, go to https://ca.gofundme.com/f/life-with-toddler-and-identical-triplets

Lacey and Lee Paquette with their two year-old son Damien. Submitted photo.

James Morgan

James Morgan is a freelance contributor. He has worked for several print and broadcast media outlets. James loves the history, natural beauty, and people of eastern Ontario and western Quebec.

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