Although William’s Heart is Fixed My Heart Aches

I have always felt that things in life happen for a reason and that there is a greater purpose that can come from really difficult times that we don’t see right away. Tomorrow is four months since William’s surgery. William is doing amazing and we are so grateful for that! He looks so different and it honestly feels some days like this never happened. These pictures in the slideshow below are from after William’s surgery. I was unable to share or look at them for a long time after his surgery. These images are the reason that no family ever forgets when their child has had open heart surgery.

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I was physically sick numerous times while he was in the hospital because I couldn’t handle to see him like that. No one wants to see their child in pain and not be able to do anything. I was not even able to hold him the first few days because there were too many tubes and wires everywhere. The part that made it even harder was to not be able to have the surgery in Saskatoon.

We had so much love and support to help cover our expenses and support us through but there are many families that are not so blessed. Until we went through this we had no idea the situation the pediatric cardiology department at the Royal University Hospital was in. The Western Heart Network has stated that they are operating understaffed and resourced in every area. How is this even acceptable?

Because they are operating so understaffed they aren’t able to even help support the families that need care the way they should be able to. There are two part time nurses to support over two thousand yearly visits and four pediatric cardiologists. I just can’t imagine how hard it would be for families that need to visit this department numerous times a year and let alone how that staff feels that’s hands are tied with what they can provide. When William had his post surgery follow-up we were in a different room than usual and there was barely enough room for us. The sonographer was banging the machine against the hospital bed and walls trying to get it in a position that she could then get the scans of William’s heart she needed. Carly and I were crammed in another corner. She apologized to us. She said please write letters and share your concerns because they aren’t planning to give this department additional space in the Children’s Hospital and we are extremely under resourced. The Little Hearts Group is asking parents to write letters of support for this to be changed. Please connect with them via facebook for information on where you can send your letter of support.

I truly believe that part of the reason that I am a Heart Mom is to help the pediatric cardiology department in Saskatoon and other families in any way I can so that they don’t have to continue to operate this way. Children awaiting appointment aren’t on a long waiting list and nurses, cardiologists, sonographers and other staff aren’t feeling so overwhelmed and unsupported. This department can and should operate like we witnessed at the Stollery Children’s Hospital, which is a patient/family centered care facility. This is why my heart aches. Please share this blog post for me and my family!