"This November will mark 7 long years since she passed away unexpectedly from an undiagnosed heart condition. On November 26th, 2009 I kept Sydney home from daycare because she had what we thought was the flu. She spent the day home with me snuggling on the couch and when my husband got home from work I went to work for a few hours. I had only gotten to there and my husband Dwayne called me and said that her heart was racing really hard - I told him I'd meet him at the hospital. Within in 30 minutes they had already determined something was very wrong as her heart rate was double what it should be. After some x-rays they noticed her heart was twice the size as it had been the month before. Our family had been down and out with H1N1 the month prior and she had had chest x-rays then. We are from a town of about 32,000 so Sydney had to be rushed to a bigger hospital for more tests then within a few hours, to SickKids in Toronto (a couple hours from our home). There were several complications from then on; she went into cardiac arrest before she got to SickKids (it was the first snow of the year and the helicopter wouldn't fly her there so she went by ambulance - she arrested 15 minutes before getting to the hospital). Once they had her stable she was put on an ecmo machine to do her heart's work and they said she would need a new heart right away but they had to determine what kind of damage was done from her being without oxygen for so long. The next day (Nov 27th) they did open heart surgery to remove a blood clot that occurred when she went into cardiac arrest. She never woke up after that. The following day they did more tests and determined there was no neurological activity and we had to take her off life support. Sydney passed away November 28th, 2009 only 48 hours after we took her to our local hospital - she had just celebrated her 2nd birthday the month before. It took us 18 months to get autopsy results and they determined she had dilated cardiomyopathy; it was probably triggered from H1N1. It's ironic that at the time I was working for the health unit and running the flu/H1N1 clinics. Our world came crashing down that day and it's been a fight every day to always look at the positive. Our son, he was almost 5 at the time, lost his best friend that day but he kept us going and as much as we struggle some days still, he still misses his sister just as much. Our youngest daughter never got to meet her sister but she talks about her all the time and she happily announces to people that she has an older brother and an older sister who is in heaven. It's normal for her and it brings her comfort."She is doing something really great this year to keep her daughter's memory alive - she's hosting a Random Acts of Kindness Day on what would be her 9th birthday. That's where we come in - On October 19th, do a Random Act of Kindness for Sydney. It doesn't have to cost anything and it will almost certainly brighten the recipient's day. Here are some free and inexpensive ideas:
- Gather the runaway shopping carts in a parking lot and put them away
- Pay a compliment to a stranger
- Or to anyone
- Give a homeless person a meal or some basic needs
- Help your coworker out with a project/buy them a snack
Visit her Facebook page to post your RAoK for Sydney! Thanks for participating, y'all. This story just broke my cold, black heart and I had to share!