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Payton and her family have been wonderful ambassadors for the Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation since sharing their story on the Caring for Kids Radiothon in 2013, a year after specialists at the hospital along with donor funded equipment saved her life.
Shortly after her brother Easton was discharged from the Alberta Children’s Hospital where he spent days fighting Group A Strep Sepsis, Payton came down with flu like symptoms. Not taking any chances, her mother Betina took her to an urgent care centre in Airdrie who then referred her to the emergency department at the Alberta Children’s Hospital. Alarmingly quickly, Payton became sicker and sicker, and was admitted to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. Shortly after arriving in the PICU, Payton was no longer able to breathe easily on her own and while intubated, she went into cardiac arrest and had to be resuscitated for three minutes.
Payton was diagnosed with Invasive Group A Strep Toxic Shock Syndrome, a rapidly progressing bacterial infection causing extremely low blood pressure and organ failure. Her heart and lungs were no longer functioning correctly and her organs were at risk of shutting down altogether. In an attempt to save her life after all other medical intervention had failed, the decision was made to put little Payton on Extracorporeal Life Support (ECLS), a form of heart and lung bypass that would give her heart and lungs the chance to rest and recover. This specialized technology only became available to the hospital six months earlier thanks to generous donor support.
Thankfully for Payton, this life-saving measure was exactly what her tiny exhausted body needed to recover. Thanks to community – bought equipment and expert help, Payton fought the infection and began her long road to recovery. Today, 6-year old Payton is back to her bubbly, fun and charismatic little self. She loves to give back to the hospital through her own fundraising and is this year’s Champion Child!