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Success Stories

Sabrina's story

Picture of Sabrina with her baby brotherWhen I was five months pregnant with our daughter Sabrina, she was diagnosed with a heart defect called Transposition of the Great Arteries with Atrial Septal Defect. It was a complete shock. Nobody in our families has any history of heart problems. Dr. Lougheed, her CHEO cardiologist, carefully explained the situation. We were told Sabrina would needed open heart surgery, shortly after birth.

I met the entire cardiology team during my pregnancy and had many ultrasounds to follow up with her development. Right after birth, the CHEO team was waiting for Sabrina and performed some emergency procedures to maximize the oxygen going through her body. When she was ten days old, Dr. Maharajh and his team performed her surgery. It took seven long hours. She stayed for a total of six weeks at CHEO, going from the NICU to the PICU, finishing on 5 East. The support from all those teams was simply incredible. I still remember the nurse in the NICU teaching my husband how to give her a bath with all her tubes trying to make this experience feel as if we were at home. Sabrina was even baptized by the Chaplain at CHEO, the night prior to her surgery. The special gown to accommodate her medical equipment was donated by the CHEO Foundation. The nurses at the PICU were so amazing. I couldn`t believe how many machines were around Sabrina during the following two weeks, helping her do everything, including breathing.

Sabrina is now four years old and doing great. There are no more medications, just an annual check-up with Dr. Lougheed. She is also now a proud big sister to a healthy six months old brother.

Thank you again CHEO for everything you did for our family. We will be forever grateful

Amelie Gagnon

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