Dayla just didn’t seem like herself. She was never a colicky 13 month old, but she had been out of sorts lately. Her mother, Janelle Gallant, chalked it up to a reaction to her recent one year inoculations. But, as the days stretched to weeks, she began to worry. That’s when Janelle took little Dayla to Western Hospital where she received blood work. Finding nothing of great concern, Janelle next visited her pediatrician who did an exam and then arranged an Ultrasound to see if the source of Dayla’s discomfort could be found. That was when every mother’s worst fear came true.
It was Christmas-time, they had just put their tree up when she had that first Ultrasound. Later that day they heard from her pediatrician who told them the Ultrasound revealed a 14 cm tumour in her belly. When you consider that the average one year old girl is only 74 cms tall (29 inches) the diagnosis becomes even more unsettling. Dayla was immediately taken to the IWK where she received a major 11 hour surgery (removing one adrenal gland) followed by five rounds of chemotherapy. She also received a double bone marrow transplant in Toronto along with immunotherapy and radiation. In all, it was about a year and a half journey during which she would be back and forth between PCH, Toronto, and IWK for treatments.
“The care was amazing,” said Janelle in a recent interview at PCH. “It’s one thing for a parent to go through this nightmare alone, but knowing that you have the staff and the support and the technology really gave me hope. As a young mom of 21 (at the time) I told myself ‘have faith, it will work out.’ The nurses were very very supportive and I couldn’t have done it without them.”
Little Dayla has been through more in her 5 short years than most of us will in our first 50. The kindergartener is a cancer warrior who is here today in part because PCH staff had the equipment on hand to find her tumour. “If it wasn’t for the Ultrasound, they may never have found what they were looking for. As a mother I knew something was wrong and I got answers.”
Today, Dayla is three years cancer free and doing wonderfully living in Indian River with her mother, her father Logan and her new sister Danni. “She’s a sassy, funny little five year old,” Janelle continued. “I’m thankful she wakes up every day and can be a little kid and go to school and learn. I was very grateful for the care.”
Each day Ultrasound is being used to get the answers needed to help patients like Dayla. Ultrasound is the window to the body that allows Sonographers and Doctors to truly see what is happening inside of a patient. With your help, in 2022 we will be able to replace the 3 aging Ultrasound units at PCH with new, top-of-the line machines valued at $525,000 in total.
To make your gift today and open a window to care for future patients, click here