Why was it important for us to donate and how has CHEO helped our family? Aside from the usual stuff (ear tubes, specialist appointments, countless bouts of croup, glue for cuts, x-rays, a broken bone or two) we have also been there for a couple of more serious issues like pneumonia for my oldest son, Curtis, which required 2 surgeries and 3 weeks in hospital as well as a very bad concussion and a separate case of shingles which caused a rare facial paralysis for my daughter, Kierra, …it goes much deeper than that for us. Our 12 year old would not be here today without the people at CHEO.
When Camden was 3 weeks old, he turned blue and stopped breathing in my arms. Thankfully I knew basic first aid and CPR and even though in that moment, when everything I had been taught flew out of my head, I was able to get him breathing again before paramedics came.
We were admitted to CHEO and after a scary first night involving a code blue for my baby, we were assigned a one-to-one nurse dedicated to him, who never left his side. Over the next 8 weeks, 4 spent in ICU, he had every test imaginable and through countless frightening episodes where he stopped breathing and his heart rate slowed to dangerous levels, they finally found that he suffered from Infant Reflux and a rare Sandifer Syndrome. Treatment began and we were able to go home, our medications, oxygen tank and apnea monitor in tow.
Through this nightmare, I was fortunate to have had wonderful doctors and nurses who were ever supportive. I was there every minute night and day, never left and was never asked to. They even made a bed for me in his room in the ICU even though it was against the rules. Not only were they there for my son, but they always made sure that I was okay both emotionally and physically even though I was not their patient.
I think I can safely say that with one child or another, we have visited and been treated in every single department at the hospital and no matter where you need to be, the people who work there are the absolute best. The compassion and caring given at CHEO is second to none. Camden knows how lucky he is. We have always told him how CHEO helped save him and how fortunate we are to have this hospital near our home. It was his choice to donate to CHEO.
Camden, Kierra and Curtis’ Mom.