Some small children can find horses a little intimidating, but not Madison Lewis.
Mom Christie says her daughter usually gives a squeal of delight when she sees the horses on her family’s Aldergrove farm.
“I think she’s going to be a horse girl, like her mom,” Christie predicted.
These days, Madison, who underwent open heart surgery just months after she was born, is an active, happy child, who loves listening to music and playing with her many toys, especially her two Cabbage Patch Kids dolls.
While she can be shy around strangers, once she comes out of her shell, Mom describes Madison as a “very opinionated” and feisty child, valuable traits when her daughter was fighting for her life.
Madison was born with congenital heart disease and respiratory issues.
On March 25, just days before COVID-19 travel restrictions kicked in, she was flown to Edmonton for surgery at Stollery Children’s Hospital at the University of Alberta, where she underwent open heart surgery to replace her pulmonary artery and received blood and blood products that helped save her life.
When Christie asked how much her daughter needed during the surgery, she was told “quite a bit.”
After spending so much time hooked up to medical machines, Madison is busy making up for lost time.
“She’s been catching up pretty quick, considering her first five months were in a hospital bed,” Christie observed.
“Madison didn’t have the best odds, and now she’s just the happiest little girl.”
Christie and dad Kyle wanted to do something special for Madison’s first birthday and give back in some way.
They’ve never donated blood before so the family organized a blood drive event and are calling on donors to join them at Church in the Valley in Langley on Thursday, Oct. 22, the day before Madison’s first birthday and then again on Oct. 27.
Nancy Bryan, Canadian Blood Services territory manager, said both event are “100 per cent” booked, but there are always cancellations, and there are other donor drives scheduled in Langley for November, including events in Walnut Grove, Willoughby and Church in the Valley.
“We have 180 open appointments,” Bryan estimated.
Bryan said donors can make their contributions at the other events, knowing that they are helping the Lewis family.
“We’re very grateful that Madison is on the road to recovery,” Bryan said.
Currently, under COVID-19 guidelines, Canadian Blood Services can only welcome people with appointments in order to follow public health authorities’ requests to practice healthy physical distancing.
You can book online at myaccount.blood.ca/en/donate/