Family donates to TOM in memory of their little boy

The Angel family of Saugeen Shores recently made a donation to the Saugeen Memorial Hospital Foundation in support of the Bring TOM to Town Ct Scanner fundraising campaign in memory of their son Liam.

                                                                        The Angel family

This is Liam’s story

Liam’s story began in 2011 upon the discovery of a rare heart defect through ultrasound in Southampton in Mom’s 7th month of pregnancy.  The showed that he had severe Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS).

In learning the news, his family were given three options … compassionate care, a heart transplant or a three-staged repair called the Norwood Procedure. After some thought and internet researching, his family decided his best outcome was the staged repair as it had been most successful in recent studies.

Liam arrived on July 4th at 6:33pm at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto.  Within 12 hours, his heart went into stress and he was intubated and hooked up to many ‘lines’ to keep him comfortable. Within four days, he was the first heart surgery patient for HLHS that week, out of eight children. Ten days later and ready for discharge, Liam went into cardiac arrest and was resuscitated for 30 minutes where he was put onto a life-saving machine called ECMO for less than 48 hours. The hospital stay was extended for two more weeks and then his family was given the OK to bring him home in a palliative state.Those next few days/months/years were stressful at times trying to live a normal life with his heart defect. He had Southampton hospital as the quickest source for help, a great local family doctor and pediatrician through Grey Bruce Health Services (GBHS), that watched over his care.

Liam visited Southampton hospital regularly after his second stage of the Norwood surgery at six months old to have international normalized ratios (INRs) drawn to make sure his blood wasn’t too thick that it could result in clots (because a clot meant a possible heart attack).

With his big brown eyes and cute smirky smile, Liam became well known during the Better Tomorrows campaign as a Sick Kids Ambassador.  Following his third-stage surgery at three and a half, he conquered and walked the next day to the play room at Sick Kids.  To Liam, it was just another day.

The cardiologists told the family to “enjoy him”, and they did. With the help of the pediatrician, he was able to lessen his Toronto visits and enjoy life like a little boy should.Over the next few years, his heart (pumping as a single ventricle) began to get tired but he never stopped wanting to do what every other kids his age could do, even if it made him extremely exhausted and short of breath.

When the fateful day arrived, Southampton hospital staff were there to bring his heart beat back and quickly arrange air transfer to get him to Sick Kids.  Unfortunately, the efforts were unsuccessful and Liam passed on September 1, 2018. The community came together and was a great support for the family after his passing.  He left his mark on many in his short seven years of life and his family are very grateful for the care he was given right up to the end, and continuing.“We as a family, chose Southampton CT Bring TOM to town fundraiser for this year’s donation. Each year since Liam’s passing, we have given what we can back to Sick Kids, Ronald MacDonald House or released butterflies in his memory,” says Mom Katie, who also works for the Southampton hospital, as did her mother, and knows the urgency behind the CT scanner.  “We feel this donation will go towards helping the team in Southampton to efficiently detect abnormalities – and hopefully eliminate the stress of limited resources needed to transport a patient from Southampton to Owen Sound and beyond.

“This donation is in memory of our son, Liam.”