When her son Connor was 5-years-old, Megan noticed that his eyes were starting to get a little droopy. Since it was harvest season, it was reasonable to think it might be allergies acting up. However, when it persisted and got continually worse, Megan brought Connor from their home in Lethbridge up to the Alberta Children’s Hospital to be checked out. The team in the ER agreed that something needed to be checked out so they made arrangements for Connor to be seen by a neurologist the very next day.
After that exam, Connor was diagnosed with Myasthenia Gravis – a chronic autoimmune neuromuscular disease characterized by varying degrees of weakness of the voluntary muscles such as those that control eye and eyelid movement, facial expression, chewing, talking, breathing and swallowing. Myasthenia gravis is caused by a defect in the transmission of nerve impulses to muscles. Connors weakness increases during periods of activity (such a gym class) and improves after some rest.
In order to keep his condition in check, Connor comes to the hospital once a month for overnight infusions of medications and a specialized blood transfusion. Instead of dreading his sleepover at the hospital, Connor looks forward to being able to play bingo, visit with pets during pet night, or make a trip to the art room. Megan says the Child Life team really works hard to make his visits a positive experience.
The Alberta Children’s Hospital has become a very important part of Connor’s life. Megan is grateful for the extra special effort that the team makes to ensure that Connor feels comfortable and supported in his journey.