Calling All Superheros

To every new family the birth of a child is considered a miracle, but on February 28th we celebrated the first birthday of a true miracle in Easton Jack Ralston Fraser. I would like to take a moment to tug on those heart strings and share the incredible story of the medical prowess of those at McMaster University, the support of Ronald McDonald House, and the power of a family with the desire to make a difference.

Easton was stillborn one year ago. An umbilical cord prolapse, a situation that happens in less than 1% of pregnancies, caused the baby to appear with an APGAR score of 0 across the board. Revived, seizuring, and without oxygen for 12 minutes, Easton was suffering from severe Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE) and placed into a medical coma for almost a month balancing on life support. With no medical precedent of survival in these conditions, the staff at McMaster NICU here worked their magic.

Easton was introduced to a cooling treatment, Hypothermia Therapy, to treat HIE. He was chilled for 72 hours, the maximum treatment to slow down the neurotoxins and delay brain cell death. After slowly being warmed back up, another 72 hours later, Easton was still on life support with the community still unsure of his recovery. It was said that he may never walk, talk, eat, or breathe on his own. But the treatment, setting records for its duration, and the support from Ronald McDonald House seems to have done something right.

A year later, we celebrated Easton’s first birthday, and not in typical first birthday fashion. Nicole Sirianni, the superhero mother in question, threw together a superhero themed party held in Elora, Ontario’s community center where the concept was not only to celebrate Easton, but to celebrate all those who made it possible to share this day with friends and family.

“Basically it was all about an open door with our story and getting out to our community and letting people know about Easton and the resources that made it possible for his amazing outcome.”

Nicole worked with local businesses to gather sponsors, as well as her local McDonalds to provide drinks, cookies, and a bouncy castle. The party asked for donations of battery powered mobiles, bouncy/vibrating chairs, baby mirrors, tummy time toys, receiving blankets, knitted hats, or gift card donations that both Ronald McDonald House and NICU would use. Oh, and there were some great superhero costumes that made an appearance with plenty of capes and masks for the kids.

“I think my quality of the event will be better next time, I would change the location and have a more polished professional atmosphere … I would do raffles and silent auctions. If the funding and participation was there I would have gone all out!”

Nicole is making strides at maintaining Easton’s birthday party as an annual event, one in which the communities around Elora, Ontario, and those who have been touched by the helpful hands at Ronald McDonald House can come out, donate some of their time, talents and support to such a life changing team.

So what do you think? If you were in the area would you stop by, donate your time and your talents? I hope that we can get out to support events like this, showing that we care about maintaining miracles.

Andrew Cole