“All My Heart Can Hold” written by David Foster
Cam Tait – February 2024
I’m a hopeless romantic. No cure. I even have a few giggles with my romantic hijinx: I asked one girlfriend who was celebrating a birthday, Judy, to put on her favorite dress for a limousine ride…which elegantly pulled into a McDonald’s drive-through as a joke before taking us to our ultimate destination at one of Edmonton’s most romantic restaurants.
Which makes February — Heart Month — more than special to me. It’s the cozy home of Valentine’s Day, and has a vital connection to, of course, our hearts. Moreover, it’s a time to get together with the souls we love – romantically inclined, or otherwise — to celebrate.
Considering a profoundly stylish piece for the year’s heartfelt month did not, in the beginning stages, require much imagination. The themes – young children, hearts, transplants, and gently reminding folks of the wonderful opportunity of signing donor cards – are obvious for as much discussion as possible. Yet, discerning an entertaining and informative essay to blend everything together seemed challenging. But then I let my fingers do the scrolling through the David Foster Foundation web site and this made it both crystal clear and a cherished honour.
Meet Keziah: Two days after her October 2014 birthday, Keziah was diagnosed with hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS) — her heart’s left side was not pumping enough blood as she needed. From her Calgary home, she flew for her first open-heart surgery in Edmonton. And during the next four years, Keziah had two more corrective open-heart surgeries. Then, in 2019, Keziah’s chest was hurting. Results showed her heart functioning at only 10%. Back to Edmonton the family went. They were told Keziah was on the heart transplant list — and, on Sept. 12, a heart transplant changed the young girl’s life.
Meet Victoria-Jane: Cardiomyopathy. Most people need a dictionary, but Victoria-Jane and her family learned about the medical term fast: a heart disease that makes it difficult for the heart to pump blood. With the use of a ventilator, Victoria-Jane gave the gift of time — a year and a half – until she received her heart transplant … which was successful.
Meet Rosalie, or to those who love her Rosie: A February 2018 bundle of joy. Just a day after her birthday, Rosie was gray in colour. Almost navy blue. Constantly crying. Lethargic, too. The midwives who had helped deliver Rosie found her oxygen saturations were very low. Upon arriving at the hospital, the diagnosis for Rosie — Pulmonary Atresia with an Intact Ventricular Septum2 (PAVIS). That means she had a heart valve defect, not allowing adequate blood from Rosie’s heart to her lungs. There was, unfortunately, another issue. Rosie had a single coronary artery, a rare heart abnormality. On her fifth day, imaging revealed Rosie’s defects were too severe to be corrected by surgery. A life-saving heart transplant was needed.
After over 16 weeks of waiting – and Rosie being extremely sick – cardiologists found a heart for her. Rosie’s gift of life began beating in her chest.
All three children and their families, and many more have been helped by the DFF with non-medical expenses such as travel, parking, gas money, and other costs. You can read about them here https://davidfosterfoundation.com/families/.
The David Foster Foundation and Simon Keith Foundation are joining forces this month to raise awareness on how signing donor cards change lives. Both David and Simon share the same hometown, Victoria, B.C. Simon needed two heart transplants which enabled him to become a professional soccer player — the first player in the world to play at the professional level.
Two Victoria natives coming together in February to help children and their families. Sounds like a perfect date … with loads of love in the air.