Katie Angel works at the hospital in Southampton, she and her family made an extra special donation to the CT scanner campaign…
Liam’s story began in 2011 upon the discovery of his rare heart defect, my 7th month pregnancy ultrasound in Southampton which showed he had severe Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome. In learning this news, we were given 3 options. Compassionate care, a heart transplant or a three- staged repair called the Norwood Procedure. After some thought and internet researching, wedecided his best outcome was the staged repair, it had been most successful in recent studies.
He arrived on July 4th at 6:33pm delivered at Mount Siani Hospital in Toronto, within 12 hours his heart went into stress and he was intubated and hooked up to many ‘lines’ to keep him comfortable. Within 4 days, he was the first heart surgery patient with HLHS of the week (out of 8 children). 10 days later and ready for discharge, Liam went into cardiac arrest and was resucitated for 30 minutes where he was put onto a life saving machine called Ecmo for less than 48 hours. The hospital stay was extended for two more weeks and we were given the OK to bring him home in a palliative state.
Those next few days/months/years were stressful at times trying to live a normal life with his heart defect. He had Southampton hospital as the quickest source for help, a great local family doctor and pediatrician through GBHS that watched over his care. He visited Southampton regularly after his second stage of the Norwood surgery (6 months old) to get INR’s drawn to make sure his blood wasnt too thick that it would throw clots (because a clot meant a possible heart attack).
Liam became well known as a Sick Kids Ambassador, where his big brown eyes and cute smirk adorned their posters.
His third stage surgery (at 3.5yrs) he conquered and was walking the next day to the play room at Sick Kids, to him it was just another day. We were told by his cardiologists to enjoy him, and we did. With the help of the pediatrician he was able to lessen his Toronto visits and enjoy life like a little boy should.
Over the next few years his heart (pumping as a single ventricle) began to get tired, he never stopped wanting to do what every other kid his age could do, even if it made him extremely exhausted and short of breath.
When the fateful day arrived, Southampton hospital staff were there to bring his heart beat back and quickly arrange air transfer to get him to Sick Kids – unfortunately the efforts were unsuccessful and his passing day was September 1, 2018. The community came together and were great support for our family after his passing. He left his mark on many in his 7 years of life and we are very grateful for the care he was given right up to the end, and continuing.
We as a family, chose the CT bring Tom to town fundraiser for this year’s donation. Each year since Liam’s passing, we have given what we can back to Sick Kids, Ronald McDonald House or released butterflies in his memory. Now raising a family of 4, mom works for the hospital in Southampton (as her mother also did) and knows the urgency behind the CT scanner. We feel this donation will go towards helping the team in Southampton to efficiently detect abnormalities – and hopefully eliminate the stress of limited resources needed to transport a patient from Southampton to Owen Sound.
A very special thank you to the Angel Family for sharing Liam’s story and for their heartfelt and generous donation to the CT scanner.