WATCH: Two heart transplants saved the life of Langford girl and she’s hoping her story will inspire you to become an organ donor. Tess van Straaten reports.
Langford’s Evanne Fisher looks like your typical 11-year old.
“Right now I’m a girl guide and badminton has become my new favourite sport,” an excited Evanne Fisher says.
But Evanne’s survived not one, but two heart transplants.
“It’s a bit surreal — every day is a gift,” says Evanne’s mom, Tamara. “We definitely don’t take any of the organ donation for granted. Not a day goes by that we don’t think of it.”
The first transplant was when Evanne was just 5 weeks old.
When Tamara was pregnant, she found out Evanne’s heart wasn’t properly formed and she’d need a new one.
Tamara had to move from Victoria to Toronto because it was the only place Evanne could get the surgery at the time.
They were there for eight months — a life-saving stay they couldn’t have afforded without the help of the David Foster Foundation.
“It wouldn’t be a possibility without the financial help of the foundation,” Tamara says. “Food was paid for, bills were paid for. I went out at the end of Summer and didn’t come back till the end of Spring.”
When Evanne needed a second heart transplant in 2012, this time in Edmonton, the David Foster Foundation was there for them again.
“The Foundation means everything to us — they’ve helped us through both transplants so they’ve enabled Evanne to be with us,” Tamara says.
Hundreds of Canadians die waiting for organ transplants
But a third of Canadians will never receive the transplants they need.
More than 4,500 people are waiting and every year, 250 Canadians will die waiting so the Fishers realize how lucky they are .
“It’s definitely a dream everyday, even if everyday isn’t a dream,” says Tamara. “There’s still moments of reflection everyday, of who she is and how she got here and our journeys and adventures.”
They just hoping Evanne’s story will inspire others to sign up to be a donor.
“To me, it’s a no brainer to sign up to be an organ donor,” says Tamara. “It’s literally leaving a legacy. They create miracles where miracles did not or should not have happened.”
“You don’t have to donate your organs to people, but it’s very nice that sign up so we at least know that you’re on our team,” adds Evanne.