Alyssa was diagnosed with leukaemia at eight months old. Unfortunately, chemotherapy induced cardiomyopathy, and Alyssa was listed for a heart transplant in March 2013. On May 23, 2013, she was placed on a Berlin Heart Ventricular Assist Device (VAD) heart pump; however, she had many complications with the heart pump and was at times medically unstable.
Alyssa waited five months, and finally on August 20th, 2013 she received a new heart because of the kindness of an organ donor.
During the hospitalization and transplant, the family was temporarily relocated in Toronto, and the David Foster Foundation supported the family with accommodations, meals, and their cell phones so they could stay connected. Since Alyssa’s successful heart transplant, the David Foster Foundation has been able to help the family with accommodations and travel from New Brunswick for annual transplant follows up appointments at Toronto SickKids hospital. Speaking of the David Foster Foundation, Alyssa’s mother Wanda said that “it was a great sense of relief that I didn’t have to worry about financial things and could concentrate on my daughter when she was sick and dying.”
Today, Wanda states that “Alyssa is 17 years old and in her final year of high school. She is busy with competitive dance. The next two months are the busiest as she is getting ready for competition with her dance team. She can’t wait for graduation in June and a year of work and will be going back to school to be a Veterinarian Tech in the future which is influenced by her love of animals. Alyssa and her family are forever thankful to be able to meet these milestones in life. Without the gift of life of a new heart. None of this would be possible. Thank you to our donor and family.”