Braeden Lousier is shown in this undated handout photo. His mother, Lia Lousier, says a dream trip to Hawaii for the terminally ill boy was postponed because of COVID-19. And she’s outraged by various politicians and staff who decided to travel abroad over the holidays. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Lia Lousier

Braeden Lousier is shown in this undated handout photo. His mother, Lia Lousier, says a dream trip to Hawaii for the terminally ill boy was postponed because of COVID-19. And she’s outraged by various politicians and staff who decided to travel abroad over the holidays. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Lia Lousier

Alberta mom angry over travel scandal after Make-A-Wish trip postponed for sick son

Braeden Lousier is one of 100 people in the world to be diagnosed with Hajdu-Cheney syndrome

An Alberta mother says she’s outraged by various politicians and staff who decided to travel abroad over the holidays, while a dream trip to Hawaii for her terminally ill son had to be postponed.

Lia Lousier of Airdrie, a bedroom community just north of Calgary, says nine-year-old Braeden is one of 100 people in the world to be diagnosed with a rare inherited connective tissue disease called Hajdu-Cheney syndrome.

“He has something going on with every major organ in his body,” the mother of three boys explained Monday, while seated next to Braeden at Alberta Children’s Hospital in Calgary as the boy received a blood transfusion.

“He’s been through heart surgeries. He’s been through abdominal surgeries, many other minor surgeries. And on top of that, he’s gone through meningitis. He’s gone through sepsis. He’s gone through strokes, seizures. You name it. This kid has fought it.”

But after years of consistent hospital stays, he was beginning to show enough improvement for a trip to Hawaii — “2020 was going to be our year,” Lousier said.

The Make-A-wish-Foundation, which grants wishes of children who are battling a critical illness, was arranging the trip for the family in the fall.

Next to his love for riding elevators, it was Braeden’s dream to be on a tropical beach, said his mother.

“When Braeden was small, I had taken him out to the West Coast to see family and he was non-verbal at that point and he wasn’t even moving at that point. So I lay him on the sand and he laughed and he laughed. He was so at peace through that, so it was a no-brainer the wish to go to Hawaii.”

But Lousier said when she saw the second-wave of COVID-19 coming, the family postponed the trip.

Days ago, it was revealed that Alberta’s municipal affairs minister had travelled to Hawaii with her husband and daughter to continue a 17-year family Christmas tradition, despite recommendations against non-essential travel.

“Seeing Tracy Allard going to Hawaii was just that final, last break for me, just unbelievable anger that she felt she had the right to do that and then for her to excuse it,” said Lousier.

Allard apologized and on Monday she resigned her cabinet position. Alberta Premier Jason Kenney also stripped five other legislature members of their duties and asked his chief of staff to step down for their out-of-country vacations.

Lousier said she also wants to see the premier take responsibility.

“I 100 per cent support Kenny resigning,” Lousier said.

“I think of the sheer number of people that I know that have elderly parents or aging parents, or have family out of province — did they want to spend Christmas alone? They sure didn’t.”

Lousier said what was most shocking were videos and tweets posted on some of the politicians’ social media accounts while they were away that gave the impression they were still in Alberta.

“It’s deviant, dishonest behaviour. Are those the people that we want running our province? No, thank you.”

In the meantime, the Make-A-Wish Foundation said it is working on an alternative wish for Braeden.

Foundation spokeswoman April Stallings said the charity has had to postpone 435 wishes for sick children because of the pandemic.

Fakiha Baig, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

Coronavirus

Just Posted

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the legislature, Jan. 11, 2021. (B.C. government)
Vancouver Island smashes COVID-19 high: 47 new cases in a day

Blowing past previous records, Vancouver Island is not matching B.C.s downward trend

A Vancouver Island teacher has started a petition imploring B.C. Premier John Horgan to close provincial borders to non-essential travel and enforce stricter quarantine measures for travellers. (B.C. government)
Teacher launches petition for B.C. to close provincial border, impose stricter quarantine

Province says what works elsewhere may not work here as they look into legalities of such actions

Aquaculture employee from Vancouver Island, Michelle, poses with a comment that she received on social media. Facebook group Women in Canadian Salmon Farming started an online campaign #enoughisenough to highlight the harassment they were facing online after debates about Discovery Islands fish farms intensified on social media. (Submitted photo)
Female aquaculture employees report online bullying, say divisive debate has turned sexist

Vancouver Island’s female aquaculture employees start #enoughisenough to address misogynistic comments aimed at them

A seller on UsedVictoria.com has listed signed, first editions of the first three Game of Thrones books. (UsedVictoria.com)
Winter is coming: 1st edition, signed Game of Thrones books for sale in Greater Victoria

Three signed Game of Thrones books listed on Used Victoria for $6,000

Businesses continue to struggle under COVID-19 restrictions as the pandemic reaches the one-year mark. (B.C. government)
Another 564 COVID-19 cases, mass vaccine plan coming Friday

15 more deaths, community cluster declared in Williams Lake

Jan. 21 marks the 21st day of the 21st year of the 21st century, according to some. (Black Press Media file photo)
The 21st day of the 21st year of the 21st century is upon us

Milestone won’t be back for another 100 years

Mowi Canada West’s Sheep Pass salmon farm, the company’s final B.C. operation to receive certification from the Aquaculture Steward Council. The Canadian Federation of Agriculture (CFA) is questioning a government decision to phase out salmon farms in the Discovery Islands. (Photo supplied by Mowi Canada West)
Canadian Federation of Agriculture backs B.C. salmon farmers

Letter to prime minister calls for federal “champion” for aquaculture growth

This illustration provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in January 2020 shows the 2019 Novel Coronavirus. This virus was identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan, China. [CDC]
Lake Cowichan daycare closes for 10 days due to COVID-19 exposure

A client at Creative Angels Daycare came in contact with someone who tested positive

Darlene Curylo scratched a $3M ticket, BCLC’s largest ever scratch and win prize. (BCLC)
Kelowna woman in shock after winning BCLC’s largest-ever instant-ticket prize

Darlene Curylo couldn’t believe her eyes when she saw the amount of money she’d won from a scratch ticket

Former town councillor and long-time volunteer John Marinus was presented with the Freedom of the Town in 2017 by then-Mayor Paul Ives. Facebook/Town of Comox photo
Five-term Comox councillor, long-serving volunteer John Marinus passes away

He was presented the Freedom of the Town award in 2017

Gem Lake Top, at Big White Ski Resort, seen at Jan. 8. (Big White Ski Resort)
Big White cancels $7.3M in lift tickets, accommodations due to COVID-19 orders

Since November, the ski resort has been forced to make several changes

While each person has different reasons for becoming homeless, a UBCO study shows they learn through their interactions with different services to perform ‘as homeless’ based on the expectations of service providers. (Contributed)
Kelowna homeless forced to ‘perform’ for resources, says UBCO study

One participant in the study said ‘It is about looking homeless, but not too homeless’

Gov. Gen. Julie Payette takes the royal salute from the Guard of Honour as she makes her way deliver the the throne speech, Wednesday, September 23, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Chartrand
Gov. Gen. Julie Payette resigns, apologizes for ‘tensions’ at Rideau Hall

Payette, who is the Queen’s representative in Canada, has been the governor general since 2017

Most Read