We may not get out and about too much with Addison’s suppressed immune system, but the people she does get to meet are pretty special. This week, Addison made a new friend and heart transplant buddy, Brittany Michaud. (Read more about Brittany’s story HERE.)
We first met Brittany and her family in May when we were in ICU. She had been airlifted from the Okanagan in very serious condition. The ECMO team was on standby because doctors weren’t sure if Brittany’s heart would keep working. Thankfully, it did and she didn’t have to go on life support. However, her condition was so critical she was put on the heart transplant wait list. Turns out Brittany had the same condition Addison had – noncompaction cardiomyopathy. In early September, she took a took a turn for the worse and she had surgery to get a mechanical heart. It’s the first time it’s ever been done on a pediatric patient in BC. Prior to this, children who needed these devices went to Edmonton. That’s even further away from home than Vancouver.
Last week, Brittany got a new heart. She is doing amazingly well and there is even talk of discharging her from the hospital this weekend! But she doesn’t get to go home to Oliver yet. She hasn’t been home since May. Britt celebrated her 13th birthday here. Her family is planning to spend Christmas in Vancouver at Ronald McDonald House. It has been a long haul for them. Brittany’s mom Shawna has been by her daughter’s side since the beginning, and her dad Bernie comes down as often as he can. But with two siblings to support and a household to run in Oliver on only one income, it has been tough.
In the spirit of the season, maybe you can help out. Extra Christmas baking? Made a big batch of lasagna with extras to spare? I know the family would really appreciate any help they can get. While transplant medications are covered by the provincial government, all the other medication is not. Post a comment or send me a message. A little good cheer goes a long way!
Elaine, Aaron and Addison