Cards for a Brighter Future for BC's Kids

BC Children's Hospital is proud to present the 2022 Holiday Card Collection. When you order these attractive, high quality cards, you are not only expressing your holiday sentiments with style, you are also supporting brighter futures for BC's kids.

The Auxiliary to BC Children's Hospital supports the areas of greatest need at the hospital by funding vital programs and services essential to providing the absolute best in pediatric care to the children of British Columbia.

Volunteers of the Auxiliary to the BC Children's Hospital continue to serve our patients and families with a multitude of skills, dedication and compassion. Volunteers are involved in every level of a family's experience at the hospital.

Volunteers provide hands-on support to parents and children throughout the hospital in the outpatient clinics, inpatient wards and through support to siblings and family members. The number of clinics continues to increase and volunteers are increasingly needed to provide support to families who struggle with days filled with appointments.

Ayla's Story

When Ayla started experiencing concerning symptoms, like difficulty breathing and poor weight gain, her parents Karena and Roberto didn't expect it to be due to a complex heart condition. But after visiting their local emergency department in New Westminster, they were rushed to BC Children's Hospital where their lives changed in an instant.

Within an hour of arriving, Karena and Roberto learned that their 1-month-old daughter had multiple heart conditions-atrial septal defect (ASD), ventricular septa I defect (VSD), and patent ductus arteriosus (PDA). The conditions were referred to as 'holes' in Ayla's heart.

Since these holes sometimes close on their own in children, Ayla was closely monitored by her cardiac care team. However, when she was 3 months old, Ayla's health rapidly declined and it was clear that surgery was necessary.

An operation was performed to repair the holes in Ayla's heart. During the procedure, only the PDA was located and closed; because Ayla was so small and fragile, it was deemed too risky to find the other holes during the procedure. Still, Ayla's health improved greatly after the surgery. "She was so happy and more playful than we had ever seen her," Karena remembered.

But as time went on, Ayla began to have difficulty eating and stopped gaining weight. The family made frequent trips to BC Children's, where her cardiac team worked tirelessly to determine whether the ASD or VSD was continuing to contribute to her health problems. Another surgery was needed. Three days before Ayla's surgery, she began to have trouble breathing at night. It became so severe that she was on a ventilator for four days, while a team of cardiologists worked to save her life.

"It felt like time was at a standstill;' Karena said. "There was nothing we could do to help our daughter or make her better."

Through BC Children's 3D Technologies Program, a 3D model of Ayla's heart was printed, enabling the team study it in extraordinary detail and evaluate treatment options. The team was able to strategize a new plan that would allow them to close both the VSD and ASD during the procedure.

"After the procedure, they told us that Ayla did great, and both her ASD and VSD were closed," Karena said. "It was such a relief to hear those words and to know that her journey was finally taking a turn for the better."

Ayla returned home just days later. Today, the family continues to visit BC Children's Hospital for routine follow-up care. Now 10 months old, Ayla is off all medications and full of energy. "We are so grateful that the team could go into surgery knowing exactly what to do," Karena said. "It helped save our daughter's life."