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Awtumn Brattamae Wilson

Abigail Wipf


Awtumn Brattamae Wilson

The day that we found out that we were having a girl was the best day of my life. As all I have are boys. But on this day of joy also came a hard day. We found out that Miss Awtumn had a heart problem. We didn't know how hard it was going to be, but we did know that if she fought to stay with me during my pregnancy that I would fight for her at birth. We had many appointments in the city so it would be mostly Awtumn and me going. Even now that they were only maybe 10 min checkups I wouldn't change it for anything. As the pregnancy went on I did think I lost her a few times, either I was bleeding or I just didn't feel pregnant. That was so scary. If I lost her I don't know what I would have done. The days turned into weeks, that turned into months with the pregnancy and I loved it. We had our meetings in Calgary about her heart and what will happen. Awtumn had a heart defect which was a HYPROPLASTIC LEFT HEART DEFECT. This is when the left side of your heart doesn�t develop right. Awtumn needed 3 open heart operations. The First one was 1-7 days after birth and a 4-6 week stay in the hospital. The second one was at 4-6 months in age and again a 4-6 weeks stay in the hospital. The last one would be about 3-4 years old and only a 2 week stay in the hospital. They also said that she might only live until she was 10 years old.

By the time we were 33 weeks in to the pregnancy we went to Edmonton and got to see the NICU and did some echos and ultrasounds. At this time they wanted us to be back in Edmonton in 3 weeks just in case something happened or needed to happen we would be close. So we went back up on June 14, 2015. The Monday after we went in to have another ultrasound, it showed that she was only measuring 33 weeks, not 36 weeks, which raised some red flags. The next two days we had to do a non-stress test. Those all looked good so on Thursday June 18, 2015 we had another ultrasound and still there were no changes and my placenta stop working 100 %. They decided it was time for me to deliver. We ended up going in for an emergency C-section.

Awtumn was born June 18, 2015 at 9:45pm weighing only 4lbs 5oz. This was one of my best days. The nurse brought her over to me and she just melted my heart with how small she was. I only got to see her for maybe 5mins before they transferred Awtumn to the Stollery hospital. I was unable to hold her right away, which made me very sad.

The next day the rest of the family was able to make it up to Edmonton to visit Awtumn.

This is where our journey started�.

We spent a week just sitting and waiting to see when the operation was going to be and a week after birth they booked her in. During the first week after Awtumn�s Dad and brothers went home I got to hold you for the first time, and I cried. No new mom or old mom will ever get to know that feeling of holding and hearing their baby cry for the first time as an ICU mom and dad. When I held Awtumn I never wanted to let her go. I would spend about 12 hours a day with her. It was hard to take care of myself because I didn�t want to leave her side. As the days went by, it got closer to the operation day.

The day that she had to go down to the OR was one of the hardest days. I held her from the time I got there until 1:30 when she left for her surgery. She got out of the OR at 930pm at night and then I still had to wait until they had her situated before I was allowed to see her. I finally got to go into the PICU at 10 pm. I stood there for maybe 10 minutes and next thing I knew the doctors were closing the unit and I had to leave. Awtumn started bleeding and I stood and cried thinking that I was losing my angel. The doctor came out at 11pm and told me that everything is good and they stop the bleeding. I was able to go back and visit with her for a bit and then had to go rest myself. I went back to the Ronald McDonald House to get some rest or try. By 4 in the morning I get a phone call from the hospital. They asked me how fast I can get there. By time I got there they had already put Awtumn on an ecmo machine that would take her blood out of her body put oxygen in it and deliver it back into her body. It was the scariest thing I ever seen in my life. Awtumn was on that for about 3 days and she was good to go. We ended spending about a month in Edmonton before we got sent to Calgary Children's hospital to be closer to home. We went to Calgary in July and stayed until the end of August before getting sent back to Edmonton.

The day we got sent back was because her sats wouldn't stay up. Within five days she had three operations and one procedure done, with only one day of rest. We were up there for another month before they sent us back to Calgary. As we got closer to December I really wanted to be able to take Awtumn home Christmas. During the month of December she ended up with the Norwalk virus twice. That didn't stop her and the doctors discharged Awtumn the Monday after Christmas but let her come home on Christmas eve for the night and she stayed most of Christmas with us. It was the best family Christmas ever.

Awtumn got to stay home until mid-January and then was admitted back to the hospital with H1N1. It took her about a month to be healthy again before she got to come home for a bit. Unfortunately she ended up with another bug and was readmitted. The last time we went to the hospital was in March when Awtumn was 10 months old and was now weighing 12lbs. This is when we found out about her second surgery. We headed back to Edmonton on April 12, 2016.

The second heart surgery was hard. I was told that she would be the second case, which meant that she wouldn�t go for her surgery until 1pm. I arrived at the hospital at 745am and went to go see her and the nurse came out to see me let me know she had already left for her surgery. I never got to tell Awtumn that I loved her and that I would be waiting for her when she got out. I waited until about 230 before they had an update for me. Then something happened and they had to go back into the OR and finally about 530pm she came back to her room and I waited for them to get her situated. I finally went in at 6pm and stood there waiting and just thinking how much of a fighter and how strong she is. I was the luckiest person to have Awtumn in my life. Everything was going well and Awtumn would be having fun with her nurse. It was at the point where we were talking about going back to Calgary.

The 10th of May is a day I will never forget. Awtumn and myself we were playing and having fun. I kissed Autumn that evening and told her that I was only going to the house for supper and I would be back. Something told me not to eat that much and then at 545pm I got the first phone call. The nurse called and said they were bagging Awtumn and they might have to put the oxygen tube back in to help her breathe. I said okay if we are going to do that please call and I will be right there. Five minutes after getting off the phone my phone rang again, and the nurse told me that they were putting the tube back in. By the time I got to the hospital the nurse called again and asked how far I was and I told her that I was parking. I can just remember her saying to me is that they were doing chest compressions and to come right in. I started running down the hall crying. They had one of my nurses standing at the end of the hall waiting for me. When I got into her room I stood there watching 3 nurses taking turns doing chest compressions on Awtumn. They asked if I wanted the ecmo put on her and that could save her. I said yes. So after they put the ecmo on her I sat with her hoping everything would be ok. I went back to the house and got some sleep. That next day I went back to the hospital and had a meeting with the doctors and how we can help her. They doctors thought that she still had some fight left in her, and I wanted to still fight for her as she did. So we put a drain tube into her brain hoping that would help and by that evening the hospital called to tell me that it wasn't looking good. Awtumn�s brothers, dad and I went into see Awtumn and as a mom you know. I looked at Awtumn and I knew right away that my sweet little angel was no more that she was not Awtumn anymore that I had to say goodbye to her. We kept Awtumn on life support so some family and friends could say goodbye. On Friday May 13 we said our goodbyes. At 330pm I knew right then and there that it was time. The doctor came in and turned off the life support and I held her until her last heartbeat. By 4 pm Awtumn was a beautiful angel. She has touched so many hearts and lives. She has shown how one little girl could fight so hard and smile every day. Awtumn is truly loved and will be truly missed.

The support of the community through all of this was great and very helpful. The Sarah Faith Hogan Memorial Foundation helped us in such a big way. If I never got in touch with them I don't know where my family and I would have been. Thank you so much for helping us during this difficult time. I want to say a big thank you to both hospitals, nurses, doctors, everyone who has been part of our journey and our lives. Remember you are all strong and your fight is never over.



- The Wilson Family

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Sarah Faith Hogan

november 8, 2004 - january 22, 2006

The Sarah Faith Hogan Memorial Foundation was formed in loving memory of Sarah Faith Hogan and is dedicated to the selflessness and courage of Sarah’s grandfather and mother, Chuck and Cathy Hogan.


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