Helping hands and hearts

Left to right: Lauren, age 10, and her sister Elyse, age 8


Lauren was only five and a half months old when she experienced cardiac arrest for the first time. Upon arriving at
BC Children’s Hospital, she was diagnosed with ALCAPA, an extremely rare congenital heart defect with a 90% mortality rate if not diagnosed before the age of one.

After two heart surgeries, three days on life support and being outfitted with a pacemaker, Lauren began her recovery.

“It was a terrifying experience, but no one at the hospital ever gave up on her,” said Matt, Lauren’s dad.

To mark the 10 year anniversary of Lauren’s ALCAPA diagnosis and give back to the hospital for their lifesaving
efforts, the family organized a fundraising garage sale, sponsored by Matt’s employer, National Bank, and supported by a powerful community of family and friends. The garage sale brought in an incredible $50,429 for the
Heart Educational Hub, an upcoming online resource for cardiology patients and their families at BC Children’s.

“We are so excited to see the ‘Heart Hub’ coming to life and to address some of the first thousand questions families from across the province have when their child is diagnosed with a heart condition,” Matt said. “Our hope is that this will help future families by providing modernized, far-reaching support.”


This article was originally featured in the Fall 2022 issue of Shine magazine.

Shine Fall 2022 | Download the PDF

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