First time parents, Leigh-Ann(40) and Tyler(34) found out that they were expecting in January 2021-- so in love, they were over the moon with joy! LA had been told she would be infertile after age 36. They thought their window had passed, only to find out they were naturally pregnant at almost 40, and with twins!
However, complications were discovered in their pregnancy early on. One of the twins, Lucy, was diagnosed with Congenital Heart Disease and would need multiple major surgeries at the Stollery Children’s Clinic in Edmonton, the only hospital in Canada that offers the kind of care needed.
Charlotte & Lucy were delivered by a scheduled C-Section on September 7/21, and considered ‘micro-preemies’ with Charlotte weighing 4.2 pounds and Lucy at 3.2 pounds. Due to their small sizes and Lucy’s heart, they were rushed to NICU where they were taken care of by their beautiful angels in scrubs.
On the day they were born, cardiologists also found that Lucy’s little heart had several more unique challenges to overcome that were not visible in utero, in addition to her birth weight not being high enough for her previous surgical plan. The team met and created a surgical plan for Lucy and she was kept stable at HSC in Winnipeg. After 6 days, Charlotte was able to go home with Mommy & Daddy...
Two days later, it was time for Lucy and her Dad to go to Edmonton for increased cardiac care and her first of four major procedures. Charlotte was too young to travel, so unfortunately LA had to stay home with her. As their situation evolves, they will decide how and when they can be reunited.
The Stollery team recently met with LA and Tyler to discuss the challenges and realities of their current situation. At this time, we know that Lucy will need at least 4 procedures and the first one could keep them in Edmonton for up to 6 months, possibly longer, away from home and their support systems. Lucy’s size means that she will need a lot of extra time to recover and is at a much higher risk of further complications, especially in between surgeries.
Regarding their financial need: Tyler is on parental leave and will get 55% of his wages. However, Leigh-Ann is supposed to be going back to work within 6 months because she doesn’t receive a subsidized income (self-employed contract work). This is going to make things very tight for them, and frankly already has begun to. Thankfully, Manitoba Health will provide for their travel to and from Edmonton along with hotel accommodations and a limited food budget. Their mortgage and bills will continue to come, and work is the last thing on their minds.
As new parents of fragile twins, this would be a hard road for anyone, but it is an especially difficult time given that they have a reduced income and are away from home for quite a while. Your support will greatly help this family as they go through at least 4 medical journeys over the next 3 years.
To each person who has donated, cared, shared, or sent their love and strength:
From the bottom of our hearts THANK YOU! Thank you for showing these four that the world is still full of love, brightness and hope-- let’s be their sunshine during their stormiest days.
We love you Lucy!