Listen to some of the amazing families sharing their story during the 2018 Country 105 Caring for Kids Radiothon:
You'd think that no mom or dad would ever choose to have a sick child. Well, baby Hank's parents actually did. As adoptive parents, they were shocked when the baby boy they'd just met suddenly suffered a massive blood clot in his brain. Although it was more than they'd signed up for, they knew they needed to stand by Hank as specialists here worked round-the-clock to save his life. Here's Kalie.
Listen to Hank's story
If you heard that someone was suffering from crippling arthritis and that it was attacking 34 of her joints, you'd probably picture a senior citizen. But Kayla was only 8 years old when specialists here diagnosed her... and began treating her, just in time to prevent life in a wheelchair. Here's Kayla's grateful mom, Cindy.
Listen to Kayla's story
Laura has to fight back tears when she talks about how the Alberta Children's Hospital cared for her daughter. Baby Elizabeth was born with the bone plates in her skull prematurely fused together, which could have caused life-altering complications. Thankfull, surgeons here were equipped with the skills and technology to help. Laura is incredibly grateful and says this hospital "changed her baby's whole story".
Every year, more than 500 children are rushed to the Alberta Children's Hospital with illnesses and injuries so severe that even if their lives can be saved, their brains are at serious risk. That was the case for baby Bronson when he was just 18 days old. An infection was attacking the part of his brain that controlled his core bodily functions - including his heart and lungs. Feeling helpless and afraid, Mom Kayla says they placed all their faith and hope in the team at this hospital.
You may have heard us say that "kids are not small adults." That's because, they are far more vulnerable than adults in a medical crisis. A child can be stable one minute - and in a life-threatening condition the next. A virus that triggers a simple cold in adults can leave a baby fighting for every breath. That was the case for baby Lincoln when he was just five weeks old.
It's almost too painful to fathom how parents manage to cope with the loss of a child. Lyndsay and Kevin say they're thankful that their daughter Jessica's care team surrounded them with love every day of her life. That love gave them the strength to think beyond their grief and create a beautiful legacy...so that other families might someday have a happier ending. Here's Lyndsay.
When he was little, Mitchell's parents found ways to anage the symptoms caused by his disorder. But as he grew older and stronger, the risk he posted to himself and others became greater than they could handle. In desperation, they turned to the Alberta Children's Hospital, hoping specialists here could help their boy. Here's Mitchell's mom, Carolyn.
When children are sick, many parents worry they'll become anxious or sad. Mitchell, who is non-verbal and on the autism spectrum - react with violent rage. His outbursts became so extreme, his mom worried it would prevent people from wanting to help. Thankfully, when they got here, their family found care and compassion, not only from staff but also from other kids in the hospital. Mitchell's mom, Carolyn, continues her story.
Most summer camps are about keeping kids happy and active so they can enjoy their days off of school. Camps at the Alberta Children's Hospital take that concept way further. They're helping kids like 14-year-old Nathan gain the skills and confidence they need to shape their future. Here's Nathan's dad, Todd.
How do you find hope when you've faced the unimaginable loss of your child? Danielle says it helps to lean on others who can understand what you're going through - other parents and the team at Rotary Flames House. She believes they help keep the spirit of her son Roark alive...and with their support, in grief, Danielle is also finding growth.
As amazing as this hospital is, there are hundreds of kids here - and at children's hospitals across the country - who are medical mysteries. They receive treatment for their symptoms but have no known cause or diagnosis for what's making them sick. Sam was still in diapers when he has his first health scare - not being able to move his body or focus his eyes. His parents hoped it was a one-time episode, but a year later, it happened again. Here's Sam's dad, Dave.