Stefano’s Stories: DOUBLE your impact for kids

December 2023

For many the holidays are the most wonderful time of the year, but kids and families who need the HSC Children’s Hospital don’t get time off. 

“That’s the hardest thing for a parent, if you can’t take their pain away.”

Ricky’s mom, Susana, says she would have traded places with her son in a heartbeat. Just before Christmas last year, what started as a bout of the flu turned into 164 days in hospital for Ricky. He needed surgery to survive, and the procedure changed his life. 

Ricky was diagnosed with meningococcal septicemia, meaning that bacteria had entered his bloodstream and multiplied, damaging his blood vessels. His toes, fingers and limbs began to turn black in many places, and doctors at HSC Children’s took him into surgery to remove any dead skin. But the infection had spread too quickly so they needed to amputate four of his fingers and his left leg below the knee. Without this surgery, things would have gotten much worse.

“It means the world… the way they treated us,” says Susana. “Children’s Hospital, without them, he wouldn’t be alive, so I’m so thankful it was there for us.”

Watch Ricky’s story at

Ricky is just one of approximately 6,000 children who need surgical care at HSC Children’s Hospital each year. That’s many more procedures than our current surgical department was built for.

The Foundation has an ambitious goal to help redesign the surgical department and purchase specialized child-sized surgical equipment as part of the Better Futures initiative. And thanks to supporters like you, we’re 90% of the way to our Better Futures goal of $75 million.

You can help reach the final 10% to transform child health and research in our province.

Donate before December 31, 2023, and thanks to the generosity of the K + P Talbot Community Fund and the Talbot Family Foundation, your gift will be matched. That means $5 becomes $10, $25 becomes $50 and $50 becomes $100.

“We would love to see the community step up,” says Ken Talbot, matching donor. “Whether you’re giving $5, $500, or $5,000 we need you and we’re here to match the money.”

We’re so grateful for the generosity of the Talbot Family and challenge you to make your special holiday donation at today to DOUBLE your impact for kids like Ricky.

This year for the holidays, Ricky is home with his family, but he will continue to need support from HSC Children’s. There’s still a long way for him to go with physical therapy and the possibility of a prosthetic leg but Ricky has a positive attitude and says he’s learning to accept what’s happened to him and move forward.

“I want other kids who may be suffering with something like this to know they aren’t alone,” says Ricky.

Donate now at #GiveBetterFutures for kids who need life-saving surgery.

From all of us at the Children’s Hospital Foundation of Manitoba, we’re wishing you and your loved ones a safe and happy holiday season.

Stay in touch!

Sign up for e-news to get updates on the latest events, news, and stories.

sign up for the newsletter