Mission family pays it forward

The Variety Children's Charity helped a Mission family pay for an expensive medical instrument for their daughter

Jamie Gauvin with her son Alex

Variety Children’s Charity has helped breathe new life into a Mission family struggling to cope with their newborn’s medical issues.

Jamie and Pat Gauvin were blessed with twins last year, Annie on Jan. 26, and Allie a day later. But although Annie was healthy, Allie was born with Pierre Robin Sequence, a condition that typically affects breathing because of a malformation in her jaw.

Born at Langley Hospital, Allie was transferred to BC Children’s Hospital, and then to Abbotsford Hospital, where she stayed for a month and a half.

It was at two months old that the hospital decided she would need an oximeter, a special device to help the little girl breathe.

The news took mother Jamie by surprise.

“I’m kind of like, oh my gosh, how much is this going to cost?”

So she called Variety asking for help and they obliged with $1,002.40.

“It was tough times for us, being on maternity leave, having twins, it just wasn’t affordable to have us purchase that right out of our pocket.”

Although Allie was able to come home for a few weeks and be with the family, her overall condition was still troubling.

They returned to Abbotsford Hospital, and were sent for a consultation at Children’s where it was decided Allie would undergo surgery.

She was released after 20 days and could breathe without the oximeter. Jamie was so grateful for the help the device provided that she decided to pay it forward.

“When I was at Abbotsford Hospital I was speaking to the social worker and we had decided to donate the oximeter back to the hospital for other families that can’t afford it.”

Allie had surgery Jan. 5 for a cleft palate and has been perfectly healthy since.

The Annual Variety Show of Hearts Telethon, which helps families like the Gauvins, takes place this year on Global BC TV on Feb. 11 and 12.

The telethon features 23 hours of concerts and performances by world-renowned entertainers as well as stories about other children in B.C. that have been helped by Variety.

Visit www.variety.bc.ca for updates on the telethon entertainment as well as information about the children who will be featured.