Nancy Blanchard, whose son, Jackson Blanchard, was diagnosed with a condition of his heart at six months old, has high praise for the staff at the Janeway Children’s Hospital and the Bay St. George Sick Children’s Foundation.
In 2011, Jackson’s parents, Nancy and Shane Blanchard, brought him to the Sir Thomas Roddick Hospital in Stephenville, where he was diagnosed with some type of heart condition.
From there, he was taken to a pediatrician in Deer Lake and then on to the Janeway Children’s Hospital in St. John’s, which all happened very quickly.
At the Janeway, he was diagnosed by Dr. Christina Templeton, a pediatric cardiologist, with having aortic stenosis, a narrowing of the aortic valve opening that restricts the blood flow from the left ventricle to the aorta.
While there has been no surgery yet, Jackson is being monitored and has to return to St. John’s every three to six months to undergo certain tests.
“As of right now, everything is stable, but eventually he will need something done, depending on when his body is ready for it,” Nancy said.
Hearing of the Bay St. George Sick Children’s Foundation, the Blanchards contacted the organization and met with Bob Miller.
Blanchard said right away they were ensured it wouldn’t be an issue and the family would be taken care of every step of the way.
“The foundation helps us with travel, meals and accommodations for every trip to St. John’s,” she said. “It’s great having one less stress and people helping with the financial part of it.”
Now seven years old and in Grade 2, Jackson’s only issue is that sometimes he gets tired when physically active. He takes a rest and when he feels good again he falls back into place.
His mom said staff at the Janeway are amazing and welcome Jackson with open arms, remembering him, and he remembers them.
“It’s wonderful,” she said.
The family wholeheartedly supports the foundation, and Nancy has answered phones at the telethon. Last year the family did a fundraiser and donated proceeds while the telethon was on air.
“I’d encourage everyone to 100 per cent give to the telethon, as it helps all the Bay St. George community. They are amazing,” she said.
Blanchard said you want to be with your kids and this support makes it easier.
Nancy is a hairstylist at Classy Cuts in Stephenville, while Shane is currently enrolled in a powerline technician course at the College of the North Atlantic’s Martin Gallant Building in Stephenville Crossing.
The telethon is taking place March 25 from the L.A. Bown Building of the College of the North Atlantic and will be streamed on the college’s website www.cna.nl.ca and broadcast on Eastlink Channel 10 locally and 610 provincewide.
Pledges can phoned in at 283-3016 local or toll-free 1-877-937-3116.