George was born on May 29th 2016 as a healthy and strong baby with no complications. His first 4 months of life was completely normal. He grew well, met all of his milestones, and life was perfect. At 5 months of age, he began to throw up daily and fall off his growth curve. After going to 3 doctors, on November 8th, 2016 we took him to the Stollery Children's Hospital because something didn't feel right. George was admitted immediately and was diagnosed with Dilated Cardiomyopathy, which is a condition of the heart where the muscle of the left ventricle is weakened and enlarged and cannot pump properly. Because of the severity of George’s disease, the only treatment option was a heart transplant. George received his heart on March 8th, 2017, just 2 months after being listed and was doing incredibly well.
Unfortunately, a year and a half later, in September of 2018, we ran in to complications. He was having weeks of diarrhea that we couldn't explain (we now know is due to him also having Crohn's disease and caused his anti rejection medication to not absorb properly) and we noticed his heart was racing. We called our transplant team and were immediately scheduled for a heart catheterization. We found out George had developed Antibody Mediated Rejection, and because of this, his body was attacking his heart and causing CAV (Cardiac Allograft Vasculopathy) which is a condition where the coronary arteries occlude. This resulted in close observation and trying to treat the CAV until July of 2019 when his disease had progressed so quickly that he needed to be urgently listed for another heart transplant. He waited in hospital for 7 months until the call for his second gift came in January 2020. He is currently doing very well and thriving.
Big Gifts is a fundraiser that creates hope. Transplant is not a cure, and we need it to be. Because these children have fought so hard that they deserve to have the longest lives possible. Please consider supporting this charity.