Family finds strong sense of community at BC Children’s Hospital

BC Children’s Hospital Dream Lottery has now sold out

A B.C. mom and her family are extremely grateful to the doctors and nurses at BC Children’s Hospital who helped her young daughter to overcome severe complications from her premature birth.

Laesa Kim told Black Press Media on Friday (Aug. 21) that her four-year-old girl, Evelyn, was born at the hospital two months prematurely, weighing less than 3.5 pounds. On top of being underweight, doctors found that baby Evelyn had a congenital heart defect and a condition called Pierre Robin Sequence, which causes anomalies in babies’ facial features.

Laesa and her husband, James, came to rely on Children’s staff right away, splitting their time between the hospital and their home in Surrey while Eveyln recovered from jaw surgery doctors hoped would allow her to breathe on her own. But Eveyln’s tiny jaw was set so far back in her throat that she had to undergo a tracheotomy that left her with a breathing tube below her vocal chords.

Eveyln had open-heart surgery at the hospital shortly before her first birthday.

She’s now a happy and healthy pre-schooler who watches Peppa Pig and loves the swings at her neighbourhood park, where Laesa said she plays with her seven-year-old brother, Noah. Evelyn can’t speak over her breathing tube, so she and her mom have learned to communicate using sign language.

Through it all, Laesa said she and James have drawn on a strong sense of community among Children’s staff, a bond that grew deeper after a hospital upgrade allowed for parents to stay overnight. She recalled walking into Eveyln’s hospital room on a Saturday morning to find their daughter and her nurses having “a dance party” set to R&B playing from a stereo plugged into the wall.

Eveyln has been looked after by her pediatrician outside Children’s since the COVID pandemic took hold in March, but the Kims expect that she’ll be able to resume treatment at the hospital in the fall.

The BC Children’s Hospital Dream Lottery is an annual fundraising lottery with proceeds going to fund the hospital. There are eight grand prizes up for grabs, each of which is worth over $2 million.

Tickets are sold out, but the winners will be announced on Nov. 10 on the lottery website.


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laurie.tritschler@grandforksgazette.ca

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