Posted November 1, 2021

Hello, my name is Elisabeth! I’m 28 years old and I live in the province of Alberta.

I was first diagnosed with Tetralogy of Fallot within my first week. When I was born we didn’t have the technology to know beforehand. Definitely came as a surprise! As soon as the doctor noticed something was different with me, they immediately rushed me to the Children’s Hospital in Calgary, Alberta. There I was admitted and assigned to a children’s cardiologist doctor. Within my first year I had open heart surgery. To date I have had 4 valve replacements. The last one I had was in 2019. The 2019 operation was the first one I had done in my adulthood. Surgery prior was done by catheter and the valve lasted about 12 to 13 years. So my memory on what to expect prior to surgery or after surgery wasn’t very strong. I did quite a bit of research on google to prepare myself as best as I could. I learned so much through doing that. I would be careful on how many blogs you read though. I came to a point when I had to let go of researching and just trust that God would handle everything. Also I had in mind while researching that everyone’s story is truly different. You can’t compare and let yourself get stressed over what is not in your control.

By the age of 11 more things started coming up health wise such as being diagnosed with thrombocytopenia, my short stature looked different, and struggled a lot in school. This is also when I started getting really bad migraines and growing pains. Everything started adding up. This is when we looked at genetic testing as something I should get done. Low and behold I would be diagnosed with 22q11.2. Thrombocytopenia is when you have deficiency of platelets in the blood. When I was diagnosed with that particular thing a lot were very concerned for me especially my gym teachers and soccer coach. Thankfully though my low blood platelets have not impacted me too largely at all. My migraines led me being told I had a lazy eye and the growing pains were well just there. By the time grade 11 came around the corner I was told I would have to go for a knee surgery. I had what was called patella dislocation. Blessed my knee hasn’t given me any grief since! With that last surgery mentioned my surgery count is now up to 5 surgeries, 4 valve replacements and 1 knee surgery.

With all those health obstacles life still goes on. I’ve grown a knack for proving people wrong and really showing people what I can do and handle. Grade school was a challenge and always had assistance for note taking and exam writing. As soon as I hit grade 10 we started looking at better schooling options, I just wasn’t getting the right support where I was. They wanted me to go in a program called knowledge and employability (K&E) but my mom and dad knew I could handle more than that. We moved from a small town to the city. In grade 11 I ended up staying in the mainstream and proving a lot of people wrong! While I still struggled with school I was doing good if not better in the mainstream.

After high school I moved to Bruno SK to be a student at St. Therese School of Faith and mission. The study part was a challenge but I grew so much there in my education. After I did two years as a student I started discerning religious life. Faith has always been a huge part of my life. After four or five years of discerning I decided that calling to become a sister was not for me. In between that time of discernment, I moved to a place called Madonna House in Combermere, Ontario. I took my discerning fairly seriously in those four to five years. During my stay at Madonna House the same excitement for possibly becoming a member or sister faded away. That is when wanting to work in childcare was brought to attention. After all the discerning excitement I moved home and started nannying for families. I have to tell you that finding work has not been all that easy with these health obstacles but still landed positions. Now at 28 I have been working for a wonderful family that I knew through seeing them at Church weekly. Despite my health obstacles they have taken me in! Their support has shown me that I can handle working full time. Beforehand I would make every excuse just to work part time. I sure am thankful for this family and for their support and encouragement. Thankful they asked for me to return for a second year to nanny their children.

In my spare time I enjoy being an athlete in the Special Olympics, swimming lanes, biking, going on long walks, practicing my faith, playing the French horn, photography and spending time with my friends and family. I am active on my A Unique Ticker account on Instagram. If you would like to start following up on my journey or would like to connect please go give that IG account a follow!