“Sometimes superheroes reside in the hearts of small children fighting big battles”
Felix celebrating his second birthday this year is nothing short of a miracle. 10 days after he was born, his parents received a phone call that would change their lives forever.
A standard test for newborns revealed that Felix may have a life-threatening disease called SCID (Severe Combine Immunodeficiency) and the family rushed to London’s Health Sciences Centre. Suddenly their seemingly healthy 9-pound baby boy could have been in mortal danger.
“After a blood test and a traumatizing chest x-ray were performed, Felix’s diagnosis was confirmed, and our cozy little life was turned upside down. We were admitted to the pediatric inpatient unit on the sixth floor, and over the course of the next twelve hours got a crash course in life with an immunodeficient child.
SCID is a genetic disorder also known as “bubble boy disease,” after David Vetter, born in 1971, who lived his short life in a plastic bubble, and whose story was popularized by the John Travolta movie Boy in the Plastic Bubble. Babies born with SCID do not have a functioning immune system, making them extremely vulnerable to infection, and unable to fight off everyday bacteria, viruses and fungi. Children born with SCID do not live to see their second birthday unless treated, usually with a bone marrow transplant.”
Life for Felix and his family turned upside down in an instant. Room B6 at the hospital and the local Ronald McDonald House became their home. Separated from their three-year-old daughter, who stayed with her grandparents. To focus all their attention on Felix, both parents spent as much time at the hospital as they could. Giving up jobs to be there to love and support their baby.
The family spent eight months in isolation after his birth. You can’t see the worry that his parents felt, wondering when they would get to take him home and start a “normal” life…wondering if their daughter would ever have the chance to get to know her little brother. Through all of this, you provided hope during their darkest hours.
Because of people like YOU, who believe all children deserve access to vital medical care and treatments, JACC was able to help Felix’s family with the cost of prescribed special formula crucial to his development. It’s not covered by health insurance and beyond what the family could afford.
We are thrilled to report that Felix is thriving today thanks to some life-saving treatment he received in the United States. Stay tuned to hear the rest of his amazing story.
To help children like Felix and their familes, click here.