Ryan and Colleen Dean will be seeking a second opinion on their four-year-old son’s heart condition after an impending surgery was pushed back by nine months.
The Sicamous family recently returned from a doctor’s appointment in the Lower Mainland, where they were expecting be to be told if their son, Tyson, would be undergoing surgery open-heart surgery in December or January. Instead, they were told the overgrown muscle bundles compensating for a small hole in Tyson’s heart aren’t causing as much trouble as was stressed during their last visit, and that they would have to return for another appointment in nine-months.
Colleen says that while the news is potentially good for Tyson, she and Ryan find the sudden and unexpected turnaround unnerving.
“We’re thinking about going to Edmonton for a second opinion – we’re not very comfortable with the answer we got,” says Colleen. “We were told, ‘you guys should be prepared to come to surgery,’ and then no – it’s a big difference.”
Colleen says Tyson underwent testing – including an echocardiogram – twice during the recent appointment, and that doctors concluded they may have “messed up” on the last test.
“And he wasn’t very confident either when he gave us the news, so we don’t feel very comfortable,” says Colleen.
However, the Dean family is feeling some relief following a well-supported dinner/dance/silent auction fundraiser to support them during Tyson’s surgery. Ryan, who organized the event, said it was a sell-out and $15,000 was raised.
“It was unbelievable – We did not expect that kind of feedback from everybody,” says Ryan. “We knew the community was great… It lifted a whole lot of stress off of us, that’s for sure.”
Between the $15,000, another $360 donated through Facebook, a fundraiser supported by Askew’s and other donations, including winter tires for the highway driving, Ryan says the community has done more than enough to see them through the surgery.
“The day after (the dinner/fundraiser) I got the best reward,” says Ryan. “(Tyson) told me he’s very happy, and thanked me for having a party for him.”
Colleen says all funds raised will stay in a trust fund set up at the Sicamous branch of the Salmon Arm Savings and Credit Union until the time of the surgery, be it in nine months or sooner.