Keegan Charlottetown, PEI
“It was a big struggle – we didn’t know what was wrong,” Carla says.
For three years, Carla and Jason drove their six-year-old son, Keegan, from Charlottetown to the IWK Health Centre in Halifax to find out why he was having urological issues, and they still didn’t have an answer. If something wasn’t done soon, Keegan would need surgery.
If they weren’t going to go through surgery, the next step, the doctor at the IWK told them, was to go to SickKids in Toronto. “I’ll do anything,” Carla says.
While the tests were stressful enough, getting to Toronto posed another challenge altogether. Since the flights would be too expensive for them to pay for by themselves, Carla asked the staff at SickKids if the hospital had any assistance programs for medical travel, and they told her to contact Hope Air.
"To have our flight paid for, that’s a big weight off our shoulders.”
It was June, their appointment was in July, and Keegan would be in school in the fall, so they had to act fast. She sent in a flight request, and 45 minutes later a Hope Air volunteer told her they received her request and were going to confirm her appointments. “She even asked me when I preferred to go,” Carla says. “I was completely blown away by it.”
Once they confirmed the appointments, another Hope Air volunteer contacted Carla to tell her she had a flight for her and her son to Toronto. “It was unreal; I wasn’t expecting that,” she says. “To have our flight paid for, that’s a big weight off our shoulders.”
With their flights covered, Carla and Keegan could focus on his tests and finding out what his issue was. From their trip to SickKids, they got an answer – extraordinary urinary frequency, meaning his bladder could only hold 40 ml when it should be able to hold 250 ml. Talking with the specialists at SickKids allowed Keegan to treat his condition with medication and with steps to strengthen his bladder. “Using the steps and medication has changed Keegan’s life considerably, and helped us as parents to understand his condition better,” Carla says.
Now, the family’s back in Charlottetown and Keegan is in school. Carla and Jason couldn’t be more thankful for the flights that Hope Air arranged for their family.
“To have this program help us is amazing – absolutely amazing!” Carla says. “We felt blessed.”