Age: 2
Hometown: Emma Lake
Condition: Global Developmental Delay/Genetic Disorder

Even though she’s only a one-year-old, Zandrie from Emma Lake, SK has the ability to light up a room and make everyone smile.

“Zandrie is just a ball of sunshine,” Zandrie’s mom, Larissa said.

“She is happy, she is smiley, she’s always looking to push her edges and try something new, and is just overall a very happy toddler.”

Larissa had experienced infertility, so it felt like a miracle when she became pregnant in 2021.

“Falling pregnant naturally was such a gift,” Larissa said.

However, her pregnancy would come with some complications. Larissa’s journey with Saskatchewan’s Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital (JPCH) began when she was 20-weeks pregnant and a routine anatomy scan showed numerous soft markers for a genetic syndrome. Larissa made visits to JPCH to monitor her baby’s development, where she had prolonged ultrasounds and appointments with the maternal services team.

Even though there were risks, Larissa felt very comfortable during pregnancy and labour, as she felt confident in the care she was receiving at JPCH.

“As soon as she was put on my chest and looked up at me a little bit and opened her eyes before the (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) team whisked her away for further testing,” Larissa said when asked about the moment she first saw Zandrie.

The next day, a geneticist confirmed there were numerous markers of a genetic syndrome. Zandrie was showing abnormalities in her features, superior muscle tone, an exceptionally large soft spot on the top of her head, two severe club feet and very tight lower extremities.

Zandrie’s first year of life has been filled with many trips from Emma Lake, Saskatchewan to JPCH, which Larissa says has been vital to help her thrive and live a happy life.

“I never thought I would have to rely on a hospital for support, not at this phase in my life. But that’s exactly why hospitals like the Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital are so paramount to the livelihood and empowerment of healthy lives,” Larissa said.

The one-year-old sees an orthopedic surgeon at JPCH to correct her two severe club feet. She was in full-leg casting for five weeks, which she has responded to really well.

Zandrie continues to wear orthotics after having full leg casts to correct her severe club feet.

While she remains undiagnosed, Zandrie continues to meet with genetics specialists and is on the waitlist to receive magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of her brain and spine.

“We’ve already gone through numerous different arrays and tests, but technology is amazing. We can look further into things and really at this point, we’re just looking to understand her more and make sure she has the support available for her to thrive throughout life,” Larissa said.

Despite the challenges, Larissa is confident that the future is bright for Zandrie.

“There’s something magical within her and she’s put on this world for a purpose. Whatever comes up for her will be. Maybe she’ll have some struggles earlier in life, but she’s well supported and she has that all around her,” Larissa said.

Help kids like Zandrie receive ongoing care right here at home when you become a monthly donor. Learn more here.


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