Three years ago, Sydnee was diagnosed with a serious heart condition and underwent surgery in Edmonton. While the operation to correct her heart was successful, when Sydnee woke up, she couldn’t speak, read or even recognize letters of the alphabet. An MRI revealed that Sydnee had suffered a massive stroke during her operation. Her right side was paralyzed and as an avid dancer, it was her worst fear come true.
Sydnee recognized her mom and dad, but her only ways of communicating were eye contact or limited movements. She was transferred to the Alberta Children’s Hospital to begin a very long road of recovery where she met a pediatric neurologist named Dr. Adam Kirton and his team. To help with her rehabilitation, Sydnee was able to play video games designed to help her motor and sensory recovery on a robotic device called the KINARM. Sydnee also worked very hard with an incredible team of physio, occupational and speech therapists at the hospital for months, as she re-learned to walk and talk.
While dancing had to take a backseat, Sydnee’s determined attitude has helped her to excel in other areas – she’s even been up on her surfboard at the lake. Sydnee and her family are so grateful for the care she has received at the Alberta Children’s Hospital, they are always eager to give back. She recently raised more than $20,000 for the hospital during the annual Radiothon fundraiser.
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