Fighters like Hailey
It was supposed to be a lazy Sunday morning for the Abrogar family. Sleeping in, breakfast together and cartoons for four-year-old Hailey.
Instead, Hailey woke up crying out from an excruciating pain in her head. She crawled into her parents’ bed and while they were comforting her, she had a seizure.
Immediately her dad Jerico called 911. He joined Hailey in the ambulance while mom Joanne quickly packed her a change of clothes and followed by car to the Emergency Department at the Alberta Children’s Hospital. Her parents could never have imagined it would be 96 days before their little girl would come home again.
Every day, specialists at the Alberta Children’s Hospital come to work not knowing how their day will unfold. Thanks to your support, they are equipped and prepared to do whatever it takes to help kids and families get through what could be the worst day of their lives.
For Hailey’s family, that day was July 26, 2020.
When Joanne arrived at the hospital, a social worker was at the front doors waiting to tell her what doctors had discovered about Hailey’s condition. She told Joanne that her little girl had suffered a massive brain hemorrhage. Without warning, a blood vessel had ruptured, causing bleeding and high pressure that could stop her heart at any moment.
Without immediate brain surgery, she had just hours to live.
Joanne found Jerico in tears by Hailey’s bedside—their little girl now hooked up to a breathing tube and ventilator. Joanne barely had time to give Hailey a kiss before she was wheeled to the operating room for what would be the first of several life-saving surgeries over the next days and weeks.
Each year, close to 500 babies and 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. Your support means experts are ready and prepared with the best tools, skills and knowledge when a child’s life depends on it.
By making your gift today, you give kids like Hailey the best chance to live―without long-term injury.
Thankfully, Hailey made it through the operation. However, because it was crucial for her brain to rest, she was put into a medically induced coma in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit.
“We didn’t know if Hailey would wake up again or if she would be our same little girl when she did. All we could do was pray she would come back to us.”
– Hailey's mom, Joanne
Hailey remained under the close watch of intensive care specialists and neurologists monitoring her organ function and brain activity, while neurosurgeons devised an intricate plan to remove the tangle of abnormal vessels causing the hemorrhage.
After a week, Hailey grew strong enough to be removed from the ventilator and was able to breathe on her own. Unfortunately, days later she had another seizure, caused by a new rupture in her brain.
Sooner than planned, as though they were defusing a bomb, surgeons had to meticulously disconnect and remove the cluster of vessels from Hailey’s brain.
Once again, Hailey showed everyone what a fighter she was. She suffered a stroke from the initial bleed, which left her paralyzed on one side. She began working with physio and speech therapists to relearn how to walk, talk and even hold a toy again.
We are so happy to share that, thanks to the expertise and quick thinking of her care providers and support from our generous community, Hailey is now returning to her typically bubby self. She is learning to get around with a walker, attends Kindergarten and no longer relies on the feeding tube she had since surgery for nutrition. She is enjoying her favourite treats like ice cream again!
"Her neurosurgeon calls her a spitfire, she is so determined to get better," says Joanne. "We are so proud of her and thankful to everyone at the hospital for giving us back our little girl."
Alongside experts at the hospital, you are part of the crucial team that ensured Hailey had access to the best care possible when she unexpectedly and so desperately needed it.
P.S. You can save and change lives every month by signing up as a monthly donor. Become a Miracle Maker today.