Age 14, Belmont ON
Learning your child is very ill can be one of the most difficult times in a parent’s life. Often, immediate action is required, with little time for preparation and processing of the terrifying situation which has become the family’s new reality. Thanks to incredible technology and a highly-skilled health care team, Heather and Dale Gillet knew their son Owen had a heart defect weeks before he was born, and were given this precious time to plan the steps that would save his life.
“We were in shock to learn that our baby was sick and, without medical intervention, he would not survive. The birth of our son could have been tragic, but because of these images we were allowed time to plan, cope and prepare for Owen’s birth and future path to recovery,” shares Heather.
Through his first night, newborn Owen underwent several tests and by the next morning, was officially diagnosed with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome, which means the left side of his heart had not fully developed. Owen became a regular visitor at Children’s Hospital for post-operative appointments to assess his heart’s condition and function.
Today, 14-year-old Owen is an everyday superhero! Courageous and strong, you would never know he has gone through difficult health obstacles, including three major heart surgeries.
“I am thankful and fortunate for the technology, medical equipment, doctors, nurse practitioners, technologists and other medical people that work to keep me healthy and my heart beating. Without them I would not be me. All of these things and these people let me live a normal life so I can do lots of things that other kids can do like playing hockey, baseball, skiing and golf,” shares Owen.