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Abby Eveson is exceeding all expectations

February 17, 2015   ·   0 Comments

Schomberg’s Abby Eveson had a rough time after her third open heart surgery last fall. But she’s a tough one, exceeding all expectations.

 

By Mark Pavilons
Abigail Eveson is exceeding all expectations.
This sentiment doesn’t come from her pre-school teacher about her latest report card. It comes from world-class cardiologists and specialists at Toronto’s SickKids, who are cautiously optimistic that Abby will beat the odds one day soon.
The Schomberg tot, who just turned 20 months old, has had enough hospital visits, procedures and close calls to last two lifetimes. And yet, she’s doing well despite the roller coaster ride she’s been on since birth.
Abby was born with multiple congenital heart defects and the biggest concern is the blood flow out of the heart to become oxygenated by the lungs. The condition, as in Abby’s case, is evident at birth. Abby received her first open heart surgery within 16 hours of her birth, June 19, 2013 and spent a week in CCCU (Cardiac Critical Care Unit) at Toronto’s SickKids.
Abby is settling in at home, after almost 12 weeks at SickKids, following complications from her third open heart surgery last fall (Oct. 28).
Mom Becky takes everything in stride, and has become a bit of a medical expert in her own right.
Abby underwent an operation called unifocalization, a procedure of rerouting blood vessels which was intended to make several repairs at once.
While the surgery was a success in that doctors accomplished what they set out to do, complications arose and little Abby ended up on Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO), similar to the previous generation of heart-lung machines. It’s one of the most extreme forms of intensive care, especially where little ones are concerned.
She remained on ECMO through Nov. 11, 2014 and Abby’s chest was left exposed for some five weeks (due to multiple infections that caused her to become septic)
Word of Abby’s condition, and the resulting support, was generated by one of Becky’s friends who started a Facebook page.
Things improved for Abby by mid-December and it was the first time in 37 days that Becky was allowed to hold Abby in her arms. After another blood infection was treated, Abby was discharged Jan. 18.
Abby’s a trooper, a miracle of sorts.
If you didn’t notice the feeding tube, you wouldn’t know anything was wrong. Becky keeps a watchful eye on her as she scoots around exploring the house. Her vocal chords are working just fine, judging by her assertive outbursts. She was so excited to see her big brother Charlie again. The two share a very tight bond.
Becky said Abby has had follow up speech and hearing tests and she’s progressing well for someone in her predicament. Abby’s demeanor and outlook, even for a wee one, is remarkable.
Her next scheduled cardiology appointment is in March. Hopefully, the plan moving forward, is a full repair, allowing the heart to function normally. But that doesn’t mean Abby will be in the clear, as future surgeries would still be a possibility. It could be that light at the end of the tunnel.
The support for Becky and husband Craig, a volunteer firefighter in King and King Township Roads employee, has been incredible, both locally and from far and wide. Schomberg Minor Hockey held a special fundraiser and through discussions with the Evesons it was decided to purchase two iPads to donate to the cardiac unit at SickKids. In their “pay-it-forward” belief, Becky and Craig donated money they received to other “heart families” from SickKids.
There have been cards, messages and anonymous donations, including donations made to SickKids Cardiac Units in Abby’s name. The Township of King staff continue to be supportive in providing positive energy for Abby by encouraging pay it forward tasks and they’ve made a donation to SickKids in Abby’s name. “They have really just done way more than we expected,” Becky said.
The support that has been shown has put the family in tears a number of times.
Abby’s journey has inspired others.
The Evesons have been asked to speak at York Pines United Church, about paying it forward.
While Becky does not feel comfortable leaving Abby unattended for even a moment, she’s a bit more at ease these days. She’s more familiar with what’s “normal” for Abby.
It’s still a lot of work. Abby is on a feeding tube, but her diet is changing for the better. She even has all of her teeth!
Fortunately, she’s in good hands – Dr. Glen Van Arsdell, head of cardiovascular surgery at SickKids.
The Evesons are tired, but Becky still manages to smile. The strength of a mother is really unrivalled.
While Abby has inspired others, mom and dad deserve some of the praise, too.
For more on Abby’s journey, visit the Facebook page at We believe in Abby.

         

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