A young family from Peachland is currently in Edmonton awaiting a heart transplant for their 8 month old baby.
Steven and Heather Lazeski’s son, James Michael, was born Jan. 22 at Kelowna General Hospital.
The next day everyone “came home healthy” in Peachland, according to James’ aunt Chelsea Dawn Hallick.
The following week, however, James’ health took a “shocking turn”.
“After an ambulance ride to Kelowna General, he was confirmed to have hypothermia, heart failure and cardiogenic shock,” Hallick said.
Hallick said they were then transferred to BC Children’s Hospital.
“Doctors intubated and stabilized James as best they could before transferring Heather and newborn baby James by air ambulance to BC Children’s Hospital in Vancouver,” she said.
Heather Lazeski told KelownaNow that a subsequent transfer from Vancouver to Edmonton caused James to have two cardiac arrests.
She said: “He went into cardiac arrest after the [the] overflight of the Salmon Arm region. He needed chest compressions for about 10 minutes.
“Then he went into cardiac arrest on the way in the ambulance once we got to Edmonton. Chest compressions were done up to ICCU (40 minutes).
She said James suffered kidney and liver damage from the cardiac arrests.
“He had to have dialysis and they slowly got better. Then he had to have a brain scan and an EEG to make sure he had brain activity before transferring him to a VAD (ventricular assist device). ), “Lazeski told KelownaNow.
Lazeski said they stayed in Vancouver for 10 days before being transferred to Edmonton due to the cancellation of the Vancouver hospital’s transplant program in July.
“It was canceled due to a conflict between doctors and the failure of the PSA to resolve the issue in a timely manner,” Lazeski said.
“(I) was in Vancouver for 10 days before being transferred to the Mazankowski Heart Center in Edmonton on August 10th. We were in the Pediatric Cardiac Intensive Care Unit until August 31 and then transferred to the Stollery Acute Care, ”Lazeski said.
Lazeski told KelownaNow that doctors had diagnosed James’ condition as “hypertrophic cardiomyopathy with left ventricular non-compaction” and that his heart was “currently supported by a heart from Berlin pumping its left side of the heart for him.”
Lazeski said another mother has had to wait around 16 months for a donor heart and is currently at the Stollery in Edmonton, waiting.
“We’re here until a donor heart is available that matches him. We are mostly stable and fine, with a few hiccups including fever, nausea, vomiting. I’m just working on developing a normal baby at my best and trying to gain weight to prepare for the big surgery, ”Lazeski said.
Hallick set up an online fundraiser to help the family as they focus on James’ recovery.
Support local journalism by clicking here to make a one-time contribution or by subscribing for a small monthly fee. We appreciate your consideration and any contribution you can make.