Stefano’s Stories: #GiveBetterFutures for kids like Ricky

November 2023

As we all start to think about getting ready for the holidays, my thoughts are with the families who will be spending the most special time of the year in hospital. Kids like Ricky, who suddenly got sick just before Christmas last year.

Ricky’s mom, Susana, says she would have traded places with her son in a heartbeat. He needed surgery to survive, and the procedure changed his life. 

Ricky’s parents, Susana and John are originally from Mexico but now they live near Winkler, Manitoba and have three kids: Ricky, Rihanna and Tony. In December of 2022, the whole family started to get sick with the flu, but for Ricky the illness got much worse. One morning, he started feeling weak and by the evening his skin had turned blue.

Susana rushed Ricky to emergency care in Winkler, where doctors said he was extremely sick and needed care at HSC Children’s Hospital. One ambulance ride and 24 hours later he had a diagnosis – meningococcal septicemia, meaning that bacteria had entered his bloodstream and multiplied, damaging his blood vessels.

Ricky’s 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. Ricky woke up not knowing what had happened.

Ricky spent more than five months in hospital and had almost a dozen surgeries to clean his wounds and graft skin onto the damaged areas. Ricky’s stay was incredibly difficult for him and his entire family, but Susana says the staff at HSC Children’s took wonderful care of them.

While in hospital Ricky enjoyed watching Children’s Hospital Television (CHTV), the closed-circuit station at HSC Children’s with programming just for kids. He even appeared on The Good Day Show, the daily live show hosted by, Noname, the sock puppet.

Susana says it’s very important to her that donors give to help kids like Ricky.

Now Ricky is home with his family, but he will continue to need support from HSC Children’s Hospital. 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.

Right now, the surgical teams at Children’s need critical equipment to look after kids like Ricky, and the department requires a complete redesign to support the number of children who need surgery. This redesign is part of the Children’s Hospital Foundation’s better Futures campaign, and there’s only 10% left to meeting our goal thanks to generous supporters like you.

On Tuesday, November 28 your donation will go even further to #GiveBetterFutures. Thanks to Qualico and an anonymous matching donor your gift will have TRIPLE the impact. So $10 becomes $30, $20 become $60, and so on.

With your help kids like Ricky will get the best care possible.

Donate on Tuesday, November 28 at

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