When Caleigh Los was born her parents, Alanna and Jeremy, had no idea in just nine short months she would be in surgery for eight long hours.
“It was traumatic knowing she would need neurosurgery and facial reconstruction,” says Caleigh’s mom Alanna.
Alanna had a healthy pregnancy and labour and delivery with Caleigh went well. But at Caleigh’s two-week checkup her doctor noticed a ridge on the top of her head. X-rays in Brandon confirmed she had craniosynostosis, a condition where the bones in a baby’s skull join together too early.
In October of 2018 Caleigh and her parents travelled from their hometown of Rivers, Manitoba to HSC Winnipeg Children’s Hospital for cranial vault reconstruction surgery, which reshapes the cranial bones. Without the procedure Caleigh would have faced increased intracranial pressure, her head would start changing shape and she may have had developmental delays.
“All the doctors and nurses were great. They all prepared us for the surgery. The care was phenomenal; it was thoughtful and planned out. Every department and person we met was exceptional. Everyone was there to help.”
Alanna Los is a nurse and as a medical professional has a deep appreciation for the staff support that allowed her to focus on her daughter.
“It was so patient-centred. We had a patient navigator that showed us all areas of the hospital that we would be and our daughter would be in. They took such good care and it was clear they had my daughter’s best interest at heart,” says Alanna.
Now Caleigh is a healthy and active toddler. She’s three and can already count to 20 and sing the alphabet. Caleigh loves Peppa Pig, Disney’s Frozen and playing with her soccer ball.
Caleigh still sees a pediatric developmental specialist at HSC Children’s and will have annual checkups until she’s an adult.
“I am almost speechless at how lucky we are to have this hospital in Manitoba. As a parent when your child is sick, you need to know the care is there for them and its good care. If we didn’t have these surgeons in Manitoba – what would have happened to her? But because we do, my husband and I were able to 100 per cent focus on Caleigh,” says Alanna.
Caleigh’s family is very thankful for the donors who support HSC Children’s Hospital.
“It is so selfless and kind to donate. When, as a parent, you are at your lowest because your child is sick, to have people who give this kindness is incredible. I have thankfulness for this generosity.”