Little Miss Jessica was diagnosed prenatally with a mass in one of her ventricles in her brain. When she was 2 days old she had an MRI that confirmed it was a tumour, but the Dr's were hopeful that it was benign. At a further routine MRI at 6 weeks old, the tumour had doubled in size and we were told that surgery was the only option left. Aged just 7 weeks and 2 days, Jessica underwent brain surgery and the tumour was successfully fully removed. When the results came back it turned out that the tumour had been malignant and had been a particularly rare and aggressive one. It was so rare, that less than 60 babies worldwide have been diagnosed with it. At 3 months old, Jessica underwent a second surgery to have a line inserted into her chest and the following day started her first round of chemotherapy. A course of 6-10 sessions were planned for her. After 6 months of chemo and consistent clear MRI’s, the decision was made to complete Jessica’s chemo. Just 7 weeks later, Jessica was rushed to the Alberta Children’s Hospital and we were told that the cancer had returned. Jessica underwent a second brain surgery and started a new chemo protocol a week later. Unfortunately, Jessica could not catch a break from the cancer and just two months later, we were told that there was nothing else that could be done for Jessica. Her hospital family rallied around her and helped to ensure that Jessica’s final weeks were filled with the same level of love, laughter and positivity as she had known her entire life. On July 7th, Jessica celebrated her 1st Birthday on the Unit, completely surrounded by her hospital family.
Jessica passed away ten days later on July 17th 2016.
Following Jessica’s death, we consented to donate her tumours to research in the hope that she will be a stepping stone in cancer research working towards a cure. An established cell line has since been achieved and these along with samples of Jessica’s tumours have already been shared with other research labs.
We are so grateful for the truly amazing staff at the Alberta Children's Hospital. We refer to them as our 'Hospital Family' as they provided so much support not only to Jessica, but to our family as a whole. They are our Superheroes who helped to give us 1 whole year and 10 days with our beautiful little girl. Words will never be able to express our gratitude to each and every person that looked after Jessica. For every person on her hospital team;- Drs, Nurses, Support Workers, Social Workers, Unit Clerks, Admininstrators, Housekeeping Staff, Porters, Volunteers through to the community;- our Family, Friends, Neighbours, Blood donors, Guardian Angels and the general public who support ACH through monetary and gift donations, we will forever hold you in our hearts.
Therefore, please help us to give back to this amazing hospital by clicking on the 'Donate Now' button. Thank you