Life isn’t without its complications, however for May Lisondra, her small family has had to experience more complications than most.
May moved to Canada from the Philippines with the goal of helping her family. She sacrificed a lot to come to Canada, leaving her family and her three-year-old son, Arnold, back in the Philippines. May started working at a McDonald’s in Red Deer to secure an income and start working on bringing her son to Canada.
In November 2019, Arnold, now 15, was finally able to come to Canada to be with May. However, Arnold, who was born with a congenital heart defect, was experiencing a rapid decline in his health in early 2020 and was scheduled for heart surgery on March 10, 2020.
Until his scheduled surgery, Arnold was placed on oxygen and also underwent a number of orthodontic surgeries to fix dental work to reduce the risk of cardiac infection after his surgery. Unfortunately, May paid a substantial sum out of pocket to cover the costs her benefits didn’t for these dental procedures.
While Arnold’s heart surgery was successful and he was discharged only five days after, in April, he was experiencing complications. Because of the care that is required for Arnold, May had to quit her job and apply for the Family Caregiver Benefits. Over the last year, between appointments in Calgary and Edmonton, May was unable to work accruing debt to support the two of them.
While Arnold is out of crisis now, he still needs ongoing support and care. He and May regularly make their way to Calgary for Arnold’s check-ups, which has still made it difficult for May to find full-time employment.
And this is why we do what we do. Parents should not have to face the impossible decision between going to work and caring for their children. We are incredibly thankful to Rachel, Arnold and May’s social worker, who sent us their application. We are honoured that we could provide some assistance during these difficult times.
"A big big thank you!! This will really help a lot! From the bottom of my heart, thank you so much! Arnold appreciates it a lot. I want to also appreciate Rachel (social worker) for helping me out for application. A huge, huge, huge thank you! It definitely means a lot! From Arnold and I, we really appreciate it! Again! A million thanks."