For Victoria’s Shannon Secuur and her six-year-old daughter Ava, B.C. Children’s Hospital has been a fixture in their lives. When Secuur was six months pregnant, doctors advised her that Ava’s head and limbs were growing irregularly.
“There was a likelihood that Ava was going to have down syndrome or dwarfism and so we planned a c-section and she was born July 16th,” says Secuur.
“A geneticist was actually there from Vancouver and could tell right away that Ava had signs of dwarfism.”
During the first three years of her young life, Ava remained healthy until she suffered a fall that resulted in not only a back injury, but a diagnosis as well.
“They ended up doing a CT scan and an MRI because she needed it and at that point they noted that she was definitely showing signs of something called stenosis, which can be lethal for kids like Ava,” says Secuur.
“We were at Children’s Hospital for about three weeks until her spine healed and then we kind of had to keep her in a bit of a bubble for nine months until her spine healed and we could come back for the surgery.”
Throughout her time in Children’s Hospital, both mother and daughter were supported by the staff, who helped get Ava on the road to recovery.
“Having people there that could check in on you and just make you feel heard and seen was just paramount in I think our whole family healing, for sure,” says Secuur.
“My favourite time was when everyone was there, they gave me stuffies, blankets. I loved it so much because they were helping me feel better,” says Ava.
Those same staff who supported Ava are helped by money raised from the annual B.C. Children’s Hospital Foundation and Choices Lottery. The money goes towards funding specialized care, innovative therapies and pediatric expertise.
“The Choices lottery is directly benefiting the B.C. Children’s Hospital Foundation, which benefits a lot of kids around the world. I think 136,000 kids visit that hospital per year,” says Secuur.
“Ava directly benefits from all of the research that is being able to get produced by the benefit of the charities lottery.”
Tickets for the lottery are on sale until Apr. 13th.
For more information, you can visit the lottery’s website.