Nate has struggled with intestinal failure since he was born. After numerous attempts to be free from TPN (IV nutrition), it failed. He was required to travel to Sick Kids Hospital in Toronto, ON from his home in Maymont, SK to be assessed for a transplant in November and was subsequently listed for transplant on December 19, 2018. Now the family must stay in Saskatchewan as the call for transplant could come at any time and the family needs to be ready to leave for transplant on very short notice. Jennifer, Nate’s mom, says that waiting has been the hardest part of the journey so far “because we are given the information that a life-changing event can and hopefully will happen at any time. Every phone call after business hours makes us jump and we have had to ask that family and friends text us only to avoid more anxiety… As much as our family tries to live life to the fullest, it is a shadow that follows us around.”
Mom reports that “day to day, Nate is doing very well. Unfortunately, the device he has in his chest to receive IV nutrition is his last access. If that port decides to fail before a transplant, the option of transplant is no longer there. So, it’s really a race against time. He still goes to school and plays with his friends. He’s currently enjoying skiing right now too and playing basketball. He knows and is aware that he’s on the transplant list, but he chooses to be a kid first, and his illness plays second in his eyes. He still has to do routine bloodwork, he’s hooked up to an IV for 12-14 hours 5 days a week, and has a cupboard full of medication he takes daily. But it doesn’t slow him down.”
The David Foster Foundation assisted the family with flights to Toronto for the transplant assessment as well as provided funding for accommodation and food and continues to assist the family with costs associated with further trips to SickKids for Nate’s appointments.