In my life there is a very special spirit that captures the hearts of everyone she meets, with her love of life, her wonderful imagination and storytelling…my granddaughter. It is her spirit and courage that inspires me daily.
You see, an abnormality was found on my daughter’s routine 20 week ultrasound. An abnormality that would eventually lead the doctors to tell us that the fetus would not survive. But she defied them and not only survived but thrived. Much to the specialists surprise and joy. Her first month of life was on lights, beeps, iv’s, tubes, tests. Evanne received a heart transplant at 5 weeks of age. Now while we knew a transplant was not a cure – it exchanges one set of problems for another , we were so grateful for that chance.She has done well . Oh, there have been ups and downs – blood tests , kidney tests, quarterly trips to Children’s Hospital for check ups. You see the medications she is on can cause seizures, cancers, kidney failure, but overall she has done well. That is until last June – she collapsed. We were to find out later that usually these kids do not get back up but Evanne being Evanne awoke and even blamed it on having to eat vegetables. Over the next 3 weeks she would have a pacemaker/defribrillator put in her little chest, have another heart attack be airlifted twice to Stollery Children’s Hospital in Edmonton. Again their news was not great. She would eventually deteriorate. There was only a 16% chance they would find a heart. Then two days later ..A HEART!!!
Eight weeks from the day she collapsed they were home in Victoria and 1 month later there was a wonderful celebration of life. This 8 year old has been through far more than most of us can even fathom but faces each day with joy. She just wants to be “normal” (highly overrated we tell her), and sing and tell stories and play.
There is not a day goes by that we do not give thanks and gratitude to the courageous, selfless families that chose to share life with others even in their darkest moments. Because of them I get to hear giggles and laughter and share stories and time, precious time with one who makes my life rich beyond my imagination.
This happens to other people, it won’t happen to me or someone I love, right? Wrong! Currently in BC there are 467 loved ones waiting for an organ transplant and some will not make it. Please become a registered organ donor www.transplant.bc.ca It only takes a couple of minutes. Tell your family of your wishes.
Life is precious. Enjoy it to the fullest. Your spirit lives on your organs do not.
posted by Jacqui Hughes is a Realtor with The Don Miller Group at Century 21 Executives Realty Ltd in Vernon, BC.
She is passionate about life and believes everyone should be a registered donor.