We need your support to make Radiothon a success – call 802-2700 to become a Miracle Maker or donate online at www.KidsRadiothon.com
Knowing unborn baby Isaac would have heart troubles, Alberta Children’s Hospital cardiologist Dr. Deborah Fruitman, began following him before he was born and continues to follow him today. At 16 days old he had heart surgery in Edmonton and was then sent to the Alberta Children’s Hospital, where the Home Nutrition team trained his parents how to manage of his feeds through an NG tube at home so he could gain weight and get stronger. When Isaac was 5 ½ months old, he had a full heart reconstruction and after only a couple weeks at home, Isaac was back the Alberta Children’s Hospital, as his red blood cell count was very low due to the mechanical valve in his heart not being fully healed. Isaac had to have multiple blood transfusions over the next several days before being sent home on oxygen. He was only there a few days before he was back in hospital in both Calgary and Edmonton with one of his heart valves stuck due to blood clots. Fortunately, he was treated with a protein and spared another surgery.
In December of 2015, Isaac was struggling to breathe and came back to the Children’s. Despite being on blood thinners, his mechanical valve had clotted and closed, stopping blood from moving to his heart. The plan was to transfer him to Edmonton, but he was in such a critical state, the staff at the Children’s kept him here. He was given an IV infusion of that protein that spared gum a surgery before and, again, it worked. Shandra says she didn’t even realize how dire the situation was until the following day because the ICU team was so calm and collected that she felt no need to worry. Isaac was already up dancing around with Music Therapist Marc the very next day.
Having Isaac treated in Calgary rather than Edmonton also meant Shanda and Matt could attend their daughter Joelle’s Christmas concert, which meant the world, as so many of Joelle’s important days and moments have had to be missed or put on the back burner because of Isaac’s health. Shandra is incredibly grateful for the amazing care Dr. Fruitman and the cardiology team have provided for Isaac, she is equally grateful for the care Joelle, has received. Though she hasn’t been a patient, Joelle had an incredibly difficult and stressful year as her family did all they could to save her brother. She spent many days at the hospital, but was always recognized, looked after and entertained.
Shandra is so thankful for the care Isaac received and also for the resources provided to Joelle. Emily’s Backyard, the hospital’s art room and programs for patients’ siblings have all helped Joelle. “This hospital treats the whole family, not just the sick kid,” says Shandra.