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Ella Elkins

Beating the Odds

In early July 2016, a fall off a bleacher landed five-year old Ella Elkins, then of Port aux Basques, Newfoundland, in her local hospital. She was rushed to the Janeway Hospital in St. John’s with what appeared to be a brain hemorrhage. There it was discovered that Ella had a brain arteriovenous malformation (AVM) meaning that she had a tangle of abnormal blood vessels connecting arteries and veins in the brain. The cause is unknown. Ella was immediately transported via air ambulance to IWK for life-saving surgery.

I will be forever grateful to the IWK for saving my daughter’s life. - Melissa, Ella's mom

The IWK’s Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) became Ella’s home away from home for the next month and a half. She temporarily lost her vision, was unable to speak and suffered paralysis on her left side. After her condition began to improve Ella’s care continued on the inpatient unit 7 Link. 

Today, Ella and her mom now live in Halifax and Ella is doing great! She is in grade primary and IWK Occupational Therapists visit her school a few times a week to help her strengthen her muscles and movement.

Watch Ella's story


Excellence is in your hands.

IWK Health Centre Charitable Foundation Charitable Number: 867558090RR0001