It was almost a year ago now that I told you about my friend Olivia and her baby boy Noah. I called her Liz back then when I told you about her, in an attempt at anonymity for her and her family, but it was last Christmas we all learned of my friend Olivia who’d had a perfect healthy pregnancy that resulted in what doctors are calling “a random accident” in the delivery room which resulted in Noah being deprived oxygen at birth. Told that he’d never walk or talk, last Christmas Olivia’s family was converging at the hospital to say goodbye to a little boy they’d just met.
But then something of a Christmas miracle happened, and Noah proved he had a suck reflex. Despite being removed from all life-saving equipment, Noah survived, and in the past year at home with his family, has thrived. Diagnosed with HIE (hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy) due to his birth trauma, Noah faces a list of potential health challenges including intellectual disability, developmental delay, seizures and cerebral palsy.
Olivia and her fiancé Caleb have advocated for Noah since his birth and have taken it upon themselves to research the best therapies and treatments for Noah’s condition. They have begun hyperbaric oxygen therapies in Edmonton and have also started working with therapists trained in the Anat Baniel Method, an alternative form of physiotherapy that has proven successes with children with special needs. They will begin an aggressive therapy regimen in the New Year that includes both of these therapies. While both of these treatments have already shown some promise in Noah, neither of these therapies are covered by Alberta Health, meaning Olivia and her family must take on the financial burden themselves. In addition to the cost of the therapies, Olivia and will be required to live in Edmonton—where the Children’s Hospital is—for the duration of these treatments; Edmonton is six hours from her home and her family in Grande Prairie.
Don and I got lucky that Nyana was in a hospital across town from us, that we got to come home every day after visiting her in the NICU. Don and I also got lucky that we didn’t need to dig for therapies to help our child, only to find that the only treatment available was going to cost us an arm and a leg and then some. So in an effort to offset some of the costs—and stress!—Olivia is facing, an online auction has been set up on Facebook with all proceeds going to funding therapies and living expenses for their two-month regimen. Items to bid on include gift cards to popular restaurants, a signed Taylor Hall jersey, artisan soaps, jewellery, and more.
I am so honoured to know Olivia—even though I’ve never actually met her—and I am in awe of her strength and her commitment to giving Noah the best life possible. Head on over to www.facebook.com/Treatments.for.Noah to see all the auction items and to send a little bit of love to Noah. Tell ’em Nyana sent you.
LINKS TO MORE NOAH:
Treatments for Noah Online Auction: www.facebook.com/treatments.for.noah
Olivia talks to Global TV Edmonton about the fundraiser: www.globaltvedmonton.com
Follow Olivia’s blog: www.prairiebabydreams.wordpress.com/