Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Day 2: Edmonton

Saturday February 16, 2013

I don't think you truly appreciate our health care system until you are dependant on it  in a crisis situation.  The amount of care and support that we have received from the different doctors, nurses, and  Children's Variety is quite incredible.  They took care of everything, my flight to Edmonton, our accommodations, and a living allowance for food and incidentals.  All I was left to do was focus on Ellie... Or should I say obsess about her.

My flight arrived in Edmonton around 6 pm. Everything felt very surreal and  incredibly overwhelming. I was so nervous to know how Ellie's flight had gone that I was having trouble simply leaving the airport.  I was hiding in a bathroom stall trying to summon up enough courage to take a taxi to the hospital when Dan called from Toronto.  Apparently there was a snowstorm in Toronto and flights were running at least a few hours late. I just wanted him to get here already! 

I finally arrived at the hospital and began to wander around in an attempt  to find the PICU.  I was surprised by how dead the hospital was... The place was abandoned,  I couldn't find anyone anywhere to ask for help! Finally after 15 minutes of aimlessly walking around I came across someone who was able to give directions.  The first thing I saw when I walked through the door of the PICU was her flight team.  They had smiles on their faces and told me that she had a great flight with no incidences.  Hallelujah!  I didn't get to see her right away though... The team still had to put in a femoral line and I decided that I didn't need to see a procedure like that right now so instead I went to our "over night" room in the hospital and had myself a good cry.

Eventually I made it back and watched them run a battery of tests including an echo-cardiogram. The echo test lasted about an hour as they examined every millimetre of her heart.  After the various tests, I gave her medical history to the team of doctors who had assembled to evaluate her situation. It was impressive to see so many specialists in one place with their complete focus on Ellie. I felt reassured that we were in the right place.

After a few hours of assessment from the doctors and getting her comfortable, I finally felt like she was stable enough to go have a nap until Dan arrived.  It was 9 pm and I had hardly slept over the past 48 hours. I was completely exhausted, so exhausted in fact that I slept through a fire alarm!


  1. Mel and Dan - we are so sorry to hear of this difficult struggle. We will be praying for you and little Ellie, and we know that God will hold you tight in His arms.

  2. When you feel alone try to remember that so many are with you in thought and prayer. Our Lord is a very present Help in trouble...trust you can feel His presence and know His comfort in this. Give Ellie a kiss from us!

    Ray and Jo

  3. My prayers are with you and your beautiful baby girl <3

    -a student

  4. Hi Mel, Dan & Eliana,
    I just wanted to say that we are all thinking of you three. Give Ellie a hug and kiss from us.
    Brandi, Chris & Caitlin

  5. Have been in prayer for you and your precious daughter ever since hearing about it on Sunday. Will continue to hold you up before our Sovereign Omnipotent Lord whose constant care and presence continue to surround you.

  6. Praying for your baby girl and for you .