There are many ways to say thank you and to show we care. Kathryn McBurney is expressing her gratitude for the hospital that has saved her child not once, but twice, with a gift that will last well beyond her lifetime.
“Quinn was a very happy, healthy child, no issues at all. And then one night she’s barely making it and she’s in the hospital.”
In 2015, when Quinn was 10 years old, she and Kathryn’s husband, Nik, were hit by a semi in a major collision. Nik spent a few days in hospital before being sent home to recover. Quinn had serious injuries and spent the next five weeks at HSC Children’s Hospital.
“She had to be taken out with jaws of life and then was in a coma for about 12 days,” says Kathryn. “The first night was touch and go as to whether she would survive, and it was pretty difficult to see her in there like that.”
Quinn needed specialized care and equipment in the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU). When she woke up from her coma, she had to relearn everything from walking, to talking, to taking care of herself. While it was an incredibly difficult time for Kathryn and her family, she is grateful for the over 100 healthcare providers who looked after Quinn.
“They never gave up on her and they just kept working with what they were seeing as progress each day,” says Kathryn.
As Quinn healed, she and Kathryn began sharing their family’s journey, and Quinn became the Manitoba Champion Child for 2017, acting as an ambassador for the 140,000 kids who need HSC Children’s each year.
Then at age 15, once again Quinn needed HSC Children’s, this time for gender-affirming care at the Gender Diversity and Affirming Action for Youth (GDAAY) centre, which has allowed Quinn to become her true self.
“Quinn wasn’t always ‘Quinn’, and in her teens she confided in me that she didn’t feel like she was in the right body,” says Kathryn. “It really is gaining my child back again because of the hospital. She’s back to being the smiley, happy, outgoing person that she always was before.”
Kathryn is deeply grateful for the moments and memories she has made with Quinn and began supporting the hospital by becoming a monthly donor. She also joined the Foundation’s marketing and communications team and is now the director of that department. And still she felt like she wanted to do more.
“We’ve tried to give what we can in terms of sharing our story as well to make sure that that’s helping the Foundation and helping other kids and families,” says Kathryn. “And then we started talking about a legacy gift.”
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