Children’s Hospital inspires public speaker, activist

Healthcare heroes help kids and families at HSC Children’s Hospital every day, and the impact they make can last a lifetime. Public speaker and youth activist, Shania Pruden, says she wouldn’t be the person she is today without the support of one kind and caring nurse.

“Without her my life wouldn’t be the way it is now and I’m super grateful for that. She changed our lives.”

At three years old, Shania needed emergency care at HSC Children’s Hospital. She had pneumonia and was suddenly experiencing intense pain in her chest and upper back. Shania’s mom rushed her to HSC Children’s Hospital Emergency where doctors found her lungs had filled with fluid, so they immediately took her in for surgery.

“They saved my life, and the scar I have from the chest tubes and lung draining are reminders to me to forever be grateful and thankful,” says Shania.

Shania spent weeks in hospital recovering, along with her mom and two siblings. The Pinaymootang First Nation family had recently moved to the city from Dauphin and was facing challenging times at home. Shania says staff at the hospital not only helped her heal, but one nurse spent a lot of time with her mom and provided resources she needed to move forward.

“This was the turning point for my mom. I cannot put to words how incredible and caring the staff were,” says Shania.

“It wasn’t even just getting support for my health it was support for our whole life. It helped us change our situation from bad to better.”

Now Shania is in her twenties and has found her own way to give back. Shania is an advocate for mental health and openly shares her experiences at public events. She also provides one-to-one support working at a kids’ help line.

Shania says it’s important for everyone to share their own story and feels she wouldn’t be where she is today without the positive experiences she had at HSC Children’s.

“I think that’s what inspired me to do what I do now,” says Shania. “It was phenomenal, and the hospital stay for all of us went very smoothly. I’m very happy to still be here. So, Chi-Miigwetch Children’s Hospital.”

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