Madison Lewis underwent open heart surgery just months after she was born; now, at one year old, she is an active, happy child.
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.
Mom Christie said she’s been catching up pretty quick, considering her first five months were in a hospital bed.
“Madison didn’t have the best odds, and now she’s just the happiest little girl,” Christie said.
The Lewis family had never donated blood before, but given the amount needed to help keep young Madison alive during her surgery, they knew they wanted to help.
So the family organized a blood drive event at Church in the Valley in Langley on Thursday, Oct. 22 – the day before Madison’s first birthday.
“It was the first time ever for me, so I didn’t know what to compare it to,” Christie said. “Madison’s been through a lot, so knowing that, it made it easy.”
Christie said her husband, mom, brother, and a few friends all came to donate in Madison’s honour; something she said will continue going forward.
“We hope to make it an annual thing,” she said.
Donors were able to provide a code that ensured their blood would be given in Madison’s name, which people can do going forward at any blood donor clinic.
Partners for Life is a program where teams can pledge units of blood to make a lifesaving difference for patients in their communities and across Canada.
Madison’s Partners for Life code is MADI0091071.
As for her actual birthday, Christie said Madison was pretty spoiled considering COVID-19 – the one-year-old was apparently showered with gifts and cake.
Canadian Blood Services has bookings open on Nov. 8 at Church in the Valley, Nov. 21 at Walnut Grove Lutheran Church, Nov. 24 at Willoughby Christian Reformed Church, Dec. 6 at Blacklock Elementary, and Dec. 19 at Parkside Elementary.
You can book online at myaccount.blood.ca/en/donate/
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