I finally got to meet Sam and his family this past weekend at the Alberta Children’s Hospital in Calgary. When I was first contacted by his mom, Kristina, they were in Edmonton staying at Ronald McDonald House. Before we had a chance to shoot photos, Sam was transferred back to Calgary, which ended up working out, since the Wolfe Pack was down there for Canadian Thanksgiving.
The night before the shoot, Kane had one of his worst nights to date! I am okay with telling you all that he was a lunatic! Needless to say, I was not in the greatest of moods. But spending time with the McGuire family was just what I needed.
The following is an email from Sam’s mom explaining a bit more about his story.
Thank you so much for taking our photos on thanksgiving. We have so much to be thankful for and your pictures really captured our joy.
Sam has quite the story but I will try to summarize it as best I can.
I had a wonderful pregnancy, blissfully unaware of Sam’s heart defect. Our ultrasounds were perfect and even did a few 3D ultrasounds for fun. No one saw anything.
He was born August 23rd after a fairly easy labour but stressful birth. He didn’t breathe immediately after birth but he recovered with help and spent a few hours in the NICU (where I work incidentally and so honestly, I wasn’t worried.) Again, this was all unrelated to his heart.
We went home 2 days later and he was a vigorous little man, eating well and crying up a storm. Then on his 6th day, things changed. He stopped feeding well, started to sweat although completely at rest and unbundled. Being a nurse, I did a quick assessment 😉 and saw he was having trouble breathing. So being a nurse, I thought “oh it’s okay, we’ll just drive him to the Children’s hospital.” I should have called an ambulance but hindsight is 20/20. He stopped breathing as we were getting close to the emergency room. I kept him stimulated enough to keep him breathing and awake. From then on, it was a blur. He was rushed into trauma and soon after we were told he had Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome. He would need to be transported to Edmonton for immediate open heart surgery. My husband, my 3 year old daughter, my father in law and I made the drive while Sam was airlifted to Edmonton. But he was is shock and needed to stabilize before surgery. Sam had his Norwood procedure on his due date September 5th. It went really well but he is not out of the woods yet. He will need at least 2 more major operations before he is 3 years old to make his heart functional but it will never be fixed.
He is a feisty little man, always letting his nurses and doctors know what he thinks of all of this. We know this trait will get him far in life. We spent 29 days in Edmonton and he is now feeding and growing at the Alberta Children’s Hospital. And we can’t wait for him to be a fat little kid.
I am thankful for the opportunity to share my passion for photography with families
who are caring for their own little warriors.
If you, or someone you love, has a child in hospital
please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
to find out about setting up a session.