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Eight-week-old Lexxie had been throwing up at her home in Sparwood, BC and her worried mom Krista had gone to bed that night with little Lexxie close to her side. Krista awoke in the middle of the night startled by the strange squealing noise coming from Lexxie.

“I called my mom who came right over and we got ready to go to the hospital. Suddenly Lexxie went limp, turned completely white and stopped breathing. We immediately called 911. I spent the longest 10 minutes of my life waiting to hear the sirens,” Krista recalls.

In the ambulance, Lexxie stopped breathing twice more. The local hospital staff quickly realized the baby’s condition was more serious than they could deal with. They called the Alberta Children’s Hospital Pediatric Critical Care Transport team who stabilized Lexxie and flew with her by air ambulance to Calgary where she could get the life-saving care she desperately needed.

While Krista and her mom made the 2.5 hour drive to Calgary, Lexxie arrived safely at the Alberta Children’s Hospital thanks to her transport team. Lexxie was very sick. Her lungs had collapsed, her tiny heart had stopped and at one point she stopped breathing for three minutes.

Lexxi on ECLS

“The hospital called me in the car to tell me they had to put Lexxie on life support. If they didn’t do it immediately, my baby would not be alive when I got there,” recalls Krista.


Finally, Krista arrived. “I was hysterical, but everyone was so reassuring and helpful. I don’t know how many people wrapped their arms around me and told me I had the best team working on Lexxie. They told me she couldn’t be in better hands,” she says.

As scary as the situation was, Extracorporeal Life Support System (ECLS) an artificial heart and lung system actually saved Lexxie’s life. By taking over for Lexxie’s heart and lungs, ECLS gave her vital organs the chance to recover and rest. Thanks to support from a generous community, specialists at the Alberta Children’s Hospital have been able to purchase this essential life-saving technology. It’s giving the most critically-ill children a chance at survival they wouldn’t have had otherwise.

Once she was stabilized Lexxie was diagnosed with a heart condition. Today she’s receiving treatment and will continue to visit the cardiology team at the Alberta Children’s Hospital throughout her childhood. None of that has slowed Lexxie down one bit.

“She’s talking, walking and climbing up on everything,” says Krista. “With every milestone she achieves, I think about all the angels who cared for her.”

Learn more about Life Saving Care at the Alberta Children's Hospital

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