Stefano’s Stories: DOUBLE your impact

December 2022

It can be terrifying when your child needs urgent medical attention but getting help can lead to hope. I want to share a story with you about seven-year-old Emma and her family, and how a visit to HSC Children’s Emergency Department led to an important diagnosis and life-changing surgery.

When Emma was six months old, her parents, Sarah and Sean, could tell something was not quite right. Her lips began twitching and she started making strange faces as if she were in pain, so they took her to HSC Children’s Emergency. There she was diagnosed with infantile spasms, also known as West syndrome, a rare form of epilepsy.

The rapid diagnosis in emergency meant doctors could move on to a treatment plan. Emma has had two major procedures at HSC Children’s Hospital, including an anatomical hemispherectomy, where the entire half of the brain affected by seizures is removed.

Now Emma has gone more than two years without seizures and her parents are thrilled. 

“She’s doing amazing, it’s so nice not to see her having seizures. You can tell she’s learning and comprehending things a lot more. I’m so happy,” says Sarah.

Emma does face side effects including visual loss in both eyes and a loss of mobility in her left side, but she is a resilient girl, adapting well. She loves going to school and is learning to communicate using sign language and voice pads. Emma also enjoys riding her bike and quality time with her family.

“Eating, drinking, walking, being more independent, verbalizing – we have lots of goals for her, but the main thing is that she’s so happy,” says Sarah. “She’s always been happy but now I feel like she’s living her best life.”

For many children like Emma, emergency is the first stop on their health journey. Right now, Children’s Hospital Emergency needs donor support to upgrade the space for patient experience, comfort and safety.

Sarah is very thankful supporters continue to give, because it means kids like Emma get the care they need close to home.

“Thank you for your generosity. Without donors, kids in Manitoba don’t get the opportunity to have the special care that they need. We’re just thankful.”

You can make the worst day better, by supporting the HSC Children’s Hospital Emergency Department, the only emergency department specifically for kids in Manitoba, and leading-edge research into emergency care for kids at Children’s Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba.

Donate now and, thanks to the generosity of the Transolutions Truck Centre Family and the Talbot Family Foundation, your gift will be DOUBLED in life-saving value. That means $5 becomes $10, $25 becomes $50 and $50 becomes $100.

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

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