In March 2017, Jayda — an athletic and active then eleven-year-old — became ill with a fever and started vomiting. The next day when she began wheezing, Jayda’s parents, Lisa and Brent, rushed her to the IWK emergency department.
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.