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Three families. A heart-warming connection.
Grayson, 3, Ashley, 11, and Evelyn (Evie), 16 months, come from different parts of Ontario but in the last year, have become each other's new 'siblings'. Their families met last winter at SickKids and formed a life-long bond as they were dealing with their children's complex cardiac issues. All three families were waiting anxiously for a heart transplant for their child. They bonded and were quick to support each other if one of the children had a setback.
Over the course of the year, each of the families received the phone call that would change their lives forever. Hearts became available for Grayson, Evie and Ashley during the summer. And in the true nature of family, the other families were always by each others' side during the transplant, either in person or by phone.
Months have passed since the transplants and the families are as close as ever. Says Grayson's mother, Natalie, "I am so very thankful for these families. I know we'll continue to support each other and be in each other's lives. We are really blessed."
As Valentine's Day draws near, these families will have even more reason to celebrate as the day, generally associated with hearts and love, takes on a whole new meaning. They are looking forward to reuniting once again and celebrating their children's hearts and the new bonds and love they've found through a life-changing situation.
To read more about the families, please read a Toronto Star article published on December 25, 2011.