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The Teklemariam Family

The news of a child’s diagnosis at birth is incredibly difficult for any family. But for the Teklemariam family, Nolawi’s birth and diagnosis occurred no more than a year after the family had moved to Canada.

In the fall of 2023, Nolawi was diagnosed with: Ventricular Septal Defect or VSD (a hole in the heart that's congenital); Patent Ductus Arteriosus or PDA (a persistent opening between the two main blood vessels leaving the heart); Trisomy 21 or Down Syndrome; and Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension. 

In January 2024, Nolawi was transferred to Stollery Children’s hospital for an open heart surgery, requiring additional expenses from the Teklemariam family to cover transportation and meals. 

After the family had returned home to Calgary following the surgery, Nolawi was admitted to Alberta Children’s hospital once again due to complications and needed monitoring from the procedure.

Throughout this time, Nolawi’s parents remained at his bedside to provide parental care and consent for medical treatment. The father, who is the ultimate income provider and works as an Airport Ramp Agent at the Calgary Airport, was unable to work throughout this process, making it challenging to provide for not only Nolawi, but also his two older siblings and committed stay at home mother.

Although Nolawi’s father has since returned to work, he has been reduced to part-time hours, and he is currently seeking an additional job to better meet their family's needs. 

As English is not the family’s first language, the language barrier has prevented the Teklemariam family from receiving support from other charities. Nolawi’s medical needs, prolonged hospitalization, and prognosis results in a significant impact to the family’s life and daily routine.

In March 2024, we were able to provide the Teklemariam family with one month of housing support, arriving at a crucial moment for the family, who expressed their deep gratitude.

As of April 2024, the update for Nolawi is,

“the surgery went well and Nolawi is on his way to recovery and hopefully no other complications will manifest.”

We hope that our donation was able to help relieve the financial burden associated with Nolawi’s hospitalization, and we are wishing Nolawi a safe recovery.


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