You can’t imagine how tough it is to hear your son ask if Santa will still be able to find him in his hospital bed.

But that’s exactly what my son asked me last Christmas. It broke my heart. 

You see, last December my six-year-old son, Zak, started having severe stomach pains. They were bad enough that we took him to Langley Memorial Hospital. And I’m so glad we did.

The doctors told us that Zak had a serious infection. He was treated in the hospital for two days. And they gave him some antibiotics to take over the next week.

Initially when we returned home, things seemed fine, but three days after his last antibiotics, he woke up crying and said ‘Mommy, I’m hurting so bad’. Right away, I rushed him back to the hospital.

The infection had become resistant to the antibiotics he was taking. 

The doctors quickly made the decision to move Zak to an IV-based antibiotic treatment. We spent 10 more long days in the hospital.

Only minutes after returning home at the end of that stay, it became clear things were still not right.

As we rushed Zak back to hospital just before Christmas there were so many thoughts rushing through my head. 

I was so worried about him. And the rest of our family. Our eldest son, Jakob, has autism and he had been missing Zak so much. My husband and I were starting to feel like we had to choose between staying at the hospital with Zak and being home with Jakob. Both of whom really needed us.

Luckily for our family, Langley Memorial Hospital really came through for us.

Doctors, IV therapy staff, and pediatricians moved quickly to find a better solution for Zak. They decided to use a different type of IV – a kind that would let Zak leave the hospital for hours at a time so that he could be home over the Christmas break!

I still remember the first day that we brought him home. We walked into the house and Jakob was there to give him a big hug. Zak said: ‘It’s going to be ok now, Mom’. It just melted my heart hearing him say that.

Over the next few weeks Zak continued to improve and he was finally getting back to being himself. We had to bring him back to the hospital each night after his siblings had gone to bed, but as soon as he’d wake up each morning he was keen to get home knowing he could play, build Lego, and just be a regular little kid.

He’s doing amazingly well now and has recently learned to ride his bike.

When I think back to our experience I really don’t know where we’d be without the amazing doctors and nurses at Langley Memorial. They are really like an extension of our family. There is a whole team of people who worked together to help get him well. The care we got there was so great. This would have hurt a lot more if we had to go into Vancouver, but getting the care close to home made it so much easier.  

In a growing community like Langley, having a hospital like this is absolutely critical. To ensure the hospital has everything they need they rely on donors like you and me.

We can only provide the level of care we do with the support of generous donors in our community. 

Below are just two of the critical pieces of equipment that we desperately need:

  • Infant ventilator ($3,300) - This helps provide breathing support for newborn infants who have a hard time breathing, or cannot breathe on their own.
  • Vital signs monitor ($5,100) – This provides real-time information on the changes in a patient’s condition by monitoring vital signs such as pulse rate, blood pressure, and temperature.

Please make the most generous gift you can today

Your donation will support our families, friends and neighbours when they need it the most. 

Lori VanderWerf
Zak’s Grateful Mom

P.S.  Please know that even a small donation can make a big difference. Thank you for caring about patients like Zak and families like ours. Merry Christmas!