We need your support to make Radiothon a success – call 802-2700 to become a Miracle Maker or donate online at www.KidsRadiothon.com
The Tychonicks usually spend their summer on a lake in B.C., but this past year had to come back to Calgary earlier than usual for hockey tryouts. Claudia was annoyed at having to miss the end of the vacation, but it quickly became apparent that Calgary was exactly where they needed to be on Aug. 25. That day, Christopher was at a golf course with a friend when he collapsed. He couldn’t see, he had a severe headache and he was struggling to get up. Shortly afterward, he was in an ambulance on the way to the Alberta Children’s Hospital. Christopher underwent a bunch of tests and scans, including CT and MRI. It turned out a tear in an artery in his neck – likely from a previous injury – had caused a clot in the basilar artery of his brainstem.
Claudia was struggling to comprehend how this could be happening to her athletic and seemingly healthy son. He was a competitive swimmer and just the night before, he’d had the best hockey tryout of his life. It was surreal and frightening, particularly since as a former nurse, she knew just how dire the situation was. However, she was amazed and thankful that despite this being a rare thing to happen to a 12-year-old, the specialists at the Alberta Children’s Hospital were able to quickly diagnose the problem and then spring into action to save Christopher’s life. The team hooked Christopher up to an IV to administer heparin, an anticoagulant, and began neurological testing with him every 15 minutes. His condition seemed to stabilize and then improve and after a few days, he was moved from ICU onto the neurology unit.
A week after he collapsed, Christopher was already back at home. He would have to be on blood thinners for months, with follow-up in hematology every two weeks, and he would be unable to do any serious physical activity for up to a year. It was a challenging adjustment for such an active guy, but Claudia is just thankful he’s alive and didn’t suffer more long-term impacts. She shudders to think about what could have happened had the family not been back in Calgary when they were. She was told that a matter of five minutes could have changed the outcome dramatically for her son.