Lyla was born with a condition called Biliary Atresia, which is a rare medical condition in which a baby's bile ducts do not function properly. This resulted in her needing a liver transplant when she was one year old.
Lyla is such an amazing little girl!
Even when she was very sick before her transplant, she was always so happy and energetic that if you saw her you wouldn't even know she was so sick. (Aside from her jaundiced skin colour, of course!)
Her transplant operation was successful, but there were a number of complications, and she had to go back into surgery several times over the following days and weeks. The main issue was that her blood vessels supplying the liver were very small, and blood clotting from the operation caused blockages of the blood flow a number of times.
At one point, when they had to rush her in to surgery to try to restore the blood flow again, the doctor told me that if it didn't work this time, it probably wouldn't. When I asked him what could be done if it didn't work, he looked at me and said, "Well... I guess we'll just have to think of something else." From his previous explanations and his tone of voice, I took it to mean that it HAD to work this time, or she wouldn't make it. This was the moment it dawned on me just how close my daughter was to death.
So my wife and I spent the next few hours waiting in the hallway, worrying and praying, and wondering why it was taking so long.
Thank God, Lyla pulled through! :)
I will never forget the smile on the surgeon's face when he came to tell my wife and I that the surgery went better than they expected, and the blood flow was now even better than after the initial transplant procedure.
After a longer-than-expected recovery of several months in Edmonton, we were finally able to take Lyla home.
I am happy to report that Lyla is doing very well. At two years old, she is such a happy, playful girl and brings a huge smile to the face of everyone who meets her. I often refer to her as the strongest, and bravest person I have ever met.
With Lyla being sick pretty much right from birth, our family's finances took quite a beating. I was the principal income earner for our household, and I had to take a lot of time off work. When Lyla was first born, I was able to take parental leave from work so that I could help my wife out with the new baby and our other three kids.
But only about a week after I returned to work, we had to take Lyla to Vancouver for medical treatment. This meant that I had to take another month off of work to take care of my family.
After that, I was able to work for a while, but Lyla's condition and endless doctor appointments and overnight stays in the hospital meant that I was having to take more and more time off work. By the time we got the call to rush to Edmonton for Lyla's transplant, I had been completely off work for a few months.
Unfortunately by this time, because of all the time I had to take off work, I had not accumulated enough work hours to be eligible for employment insurance benefits, since I had just been on parental leave when Lyla was born.
Thankfully we were able to stay at the Ronald McDonald House in Edmonton during most of the four months that we were there for Lyla's transplant. However, we had to rely on family to help with all our other expenses (bills, gasoline, etc.), since by this time, all our savings were gone.
After we returned home, it took a while to get settled back in, and there were still lots of medical appointments, blood work, and so on, so it was still a few months before I was ready to return to work.
Frustratingly, just when Lyla was finally back to normal again, and I was getting ready to start working again, the Covid-19 pandemic hit.
Because of the anti-rejection medication that Lyla must now take regularly, she is now immune-compromised. This means that neither my wife nor I are able to work outside of the house because of the risk of infecting Lyla with Covid-19.
To be honest, I don't know what to do now. I am tired of getting phone calls from bankers. I have made efforts to earn money online, but my previous career was upholstery, so I have not been able to make ends meet from any of the small online jobs I have done.
So I decided to try a Go Fund Me campaign as a sort of last-ditch effort since I don't know what else to do.
My hope is to pay off a bunch of our debt, so that at least we can stop having to make those payments. Our parents have been very generous and are doing all that they can to help us financially, but at this point, being retired, they are more than tapped out financially.
Any help would be so much appreciated. We would be eternally grateful and will keep you in our prayers.
- The Faliszewski Family
- Catherine Tatarniuk
- Marlene Campbell
- David Jackson
- Jeneen Lamont
- Ed and Dianne Barker
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