Inspiring 7-year-old with liver disease restocks Victoria hospital toy cupboard

Inspiring 7-year-old with liver disease restocks Victoria hospital toy cupboard

Watching Jamie-Lynn Frommelt laugh and smile at story time, you’d never know the seven-year-old has a serious liver disease.

“It is really, really difficult because they can’t tell us an answer,” Jamie-Lynne’s mom, Amanda Frommelt, says through tears.

It all started two years ago, when Jamie-Lynn began throwing up blood and had to be airlifted to B.C. Children’s Hospital after her second emergency room visit.

“She needed a transfusion of blood and platelets and they got her into emergency surgery that same day when she landed at Children’s, and we spent almost a month in B.C. Children’s,” Amanda explains.

Doctors still don’t know what’s causing it, and Jamie-Lynn has to go back every month or two to try and stop the bleeding.

“At this point, it’s kind of wait until she’s in acute stage before we think about a liver transplant,” an emotional Amanda says. “So it’s like a ‘wait and see’ if she’s gonna maintain this, or if she’s lying on death’s door waiting for a transplant.”

There are also stays at Victoria General Hospital and during the last one, Jamie-Lynn saw the toy cupboard was empty.

“When you have any length of stay in the hospital, the first thing to think about is get me home!” says Stephen Marta, Jamie-Lynn’s grade two teacher at Cloverdale Traditional School.

“What came to Jamie-Lynn’s mind is she shows mom the cupboards and the shelves, saying, ‘Mom, look, there’s not enough toys for kids and they’re really old. We have to do something about this!’ Like, what seven-year-old does that?”

Jamie-Lynn started fundraising and collected almost $1,600. The Hillside Canadian Tire matched $1,000 worth of toys, for a total of almost $2,600.

Asked why she wanted to help other kids, Jamie-Lynn says, “Because if they saw that the toy cupboard was empty, they would be very sad because they would have like not enough toys to play with.”

“She picked every toy out herself,” Amanda adds. “She thought about boys and girls and babies and older kids. And she thought about having an IV in your hand. She wanted to make sure the toys you got you could play with with one hand since it hurts to have an IV in.”

And now this inspiring little girl has a new goal —  and it’s a big one.

“I want to raise money so we can build a children’s hospital right in Victoria so people don’t have to go to Vancouver,” Jamie-Lynn says.

“I don’t even have words for how honoured I am to get to be her mom and to learn all these lessons from her,” Amanda adds.

Tess van StraatenTess van Straaten

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