Reason #389: “It was hard to find glimmers of hope when you’re against that type of odds.”
“She has one week left.” Those are words no parent ever wants to hear from their doctor only ten days after giving birth, but that was the reality for Janna and her daughter Jream.
It was only six days after Jream entered the world that the doctors discovered a large lump on Jream’s head. Upon running tests, it was discovered that the lump was a tumour and Jream was airlifted to Saskatoon from Regina for emergency surgery. At only ten days old, Jream underwent a seven-hour brain surgery to remove the tumour.
It took weeks for Janna to receive the pathology of Jream’s tumour and it was then that she learned that her life would change forever. Jream was diagnosed with immature congenital teratoma, a cancer of the brain. Jream’s form of cancer is so rare that there is only knowledge of one other case in all of Canada.
Jream however, is a fighter. After her first surgery, the doctor’s gave her a 7% chance of making it through the first week, and she did. After the tumour returned and Jream underwent another surgery to remove it. Janna was told that Jream, at nine months old, had only six more months to live, but she’s here today.
Against all odds, Jream is alive. Without Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital in Saskatchewan, Jream would’ve had to leave the province to receive the care she needed, but it isn’t what Janna would’ve needed. Having family around to support them through their journey was very important for Janna but that would not have been possible without JPCH.
“I’m glad that I’m able to stay in Saskatchewan. This is my home. My family has been here for thousands of years and I don’t want to leave,” said Janna when explaining what having a children’s hospital in Saskatchewan means to her.
Because Janna was able to stay in Saskatchewan, she not only was able to properly care for her daughter but also for herself. When you have a child in the hospital, it’s crucial to ensure that you’re doing what you can to stay healthy too. “As a parent of a medically complex child, you do get Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) from seeing all these things that happen. You have to be very conscious of your own mental health; you have to be conscious of if your cup is full or empty,” said Janna.
Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital was able to provide a space that allowed both daughter and parent to heal. “Walking into the children’s hospital, it’s so beautiful in there with all the artwork, the colours, the calmness of it, and the lights. By the time I get into the hospital room I’m able to just enjoy being with my child and make sure she feels nothing but positivity and love coming from me,” said Janna.
In August 2022, Jream will be celebrating her fourth birthday. In those four years, Jream has undergone seven surgeries but that hasn’t stopped her from lighting up every room she enters with her bright smile and infectious positivity. Today, Jream enjoys watching shows on her iPad, collecting stickers for her wheelchair, and going on walks with Janna and her brother Buck.
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