West Kelowna  

Newborn with heart condition needs help

A young family from West Kelowna is reaching out for help.

Kelly and Samantha Airth’s son, Miles, was born July 11 at BC Children’s Hospital with a congenital heart problem.  At four days old they were told he needed a heart transplant to survive and that they would have to travel to Edmonton for the operation. 

“This (trip) would bring financial ruin to this young family of four,” said friend Kim Tingstad.

“(It) could also separate them from their precious two-year-old son.”

The family is currently in Vancouver at the BC Children's Hospital waiting to find out if the operation can be performed there instead of in Alberta.

Excerpts from the Airth family’s Facebook page:

"The results from Miles catheter test yesterday were not what we had hoped for. The pictures revealed that the coronary arteries don't supply the back side of Miles heart. As a result, the planned surgeries to repair his heart are no longer an option.  Miles needs a heart transplant.

"We are still processing what we've found out. Things almost seemed simple, or at least planned, and orderly before we found out that his heart couldn't be repaired. Our surgeons and cardiologists have been very honest with us, and we know the cards are not stacked in Miles favour. There are many complicating factors, including keeping Miles alive long enough to try and find the heart he needs.

"A meeting is being held Monday morning between our health team and the hospital administration to advocate for our cause. Normally heart transplants like this one take place in Edmonton, although in a couple exceptional circumstances they have been performed here at BC Children's Hospital, which has an incredibly capable, sought after and experienced team. Moving to Edmonton to wait for a heart would mean the literal end of our family financially, which we've accepted, but it would also place an incredible emotional burden on our family, especially on our precious two year old Noah, that right now seems unbearable. It seems we've been tossed into the middle of a continuing argument. The need for a children's heart transplant centre here in BC is urgent. You can read lots of recent articles in the Vancouver sun and Province newspapers, explaining the situation, and the roadblocks.

"We had a meeting tonight with the head of cardiology. He explained what we can expect this week which goes something like this; Monday morning a meeting will be held between the cardiology department and the hospital administrators to discuss Miles need for a heart transplant. During that meeting the two sides will discuss the possibility of Miles surgery being performed in Vancouver. They will have a letter written by Sam and I, explaining our reasons for wanting the procedure done at BCCH. We should know the results of the meeting tomorrow afternoon."

If you would like to help support the Airth family, visit this website.

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