Ty Kelowna, BC

Ty-in-story.pngTara is a mother from Kelowna with two beautiful children - an 11-year-old girl named Kayli and an 8-year-old boy named Ty. Ty is your typical fun-loving, rambunctious 8-year-old. But not long ago, Ty successfully travelled a difficult journey, with the help of Hope Air.

In 2017, Tara began to notice a swelling of Ty’s mouth and lips that would often be accompanied by bleeding. It was so painful that it would prevent him from eating. It got to the point that he would refuse to eat, and Ty ended up losing over 20-pounds, a lot for anyone, let alone a 7-year-old.

Tara and Ty began their journey from one specialist to another in their hometown of Kelowna. However, no one, could tell them what was wrong with him. Ty was prescribed with what felt like a million different types of creams and antibiotics – but none of them worked. At the same time, Ty continued to lose weight and failed to thrive. Tara was beside herself.

Finally, a doctor in Kelowna suggested Ty see a specialist at BC Children's Hospital in Vancouver. That provided a glimmer of hope, but the thought of an 8+ hour bus ride with a sick child added stress to an already stressful situation. The long bus ride would also mean that Tara would be away from her daughter Kayli for a long period of time and the cost of airfare for Tara and her son was not feasible.

That’s when Tara learned about Hope Air from a friend. “It actually sounded too good to be true when I made the request to Hope Air. But then I got the call that Ty and I could travel by plane to his appointment, I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.” Tara said, “Hope Air arranged for us to  travel to and from our appointment at BC Children's Hospital. It was Ty’s first time on a plane and he was so excited to fly!”

At BC Children’s Hospital, Ty was diagnosed with Orofacial Granulomotosis – a rare chronic inflammatory condition typically found in younger people. Tara and her son returned home and began treatment. Within weeks Ty’s condition improved, and he began eating again. Tara couldn’t believe the difference in him. “He was my happy, healthy boy again.”
Hope Air was a lifeline for our family. I’m not sure Ty would have gotten the help he needed quickly were it not for Hope Air.

Tara is grateful Hope Air was able to get Ty to the medical care he needed. “Hope Air was a lifeline for our family. I’m not sure Ty would have gotten the help he needed quickly were it not for Hope Air.”