Many kids at almost one-year-old are just learning how to walk and talk, but a Regina woman’s baby has conquered much more.
Ashley Balysky’s little boy, Nash, is 11-months-old and has had two surgeries on his heart that haven’t helped his defect.
Now he’s in need of a new one.
In early May, they had to move up to Edmonton so Nash could get a diagnostic heart catheterization, which is a process where doctors put a thin tube into a vessel flowing into the heart.
Balysky and Nash’s dad, Gavin, have been staying there ever since at the Ronald McDonald House so Nash can continue to receive care from the Stollery Children’s Hospital.
Balysky said she holds a lot of uncertainty, however, is trying to look at the situation in a positive light.
“We can’t go home without a heart, so we hope that he stays as stable as he is right now until a heart comes,” she said.
If Nash gets worse, he’ll need to live off of a breathing tube and maybe put on life support until another baby’s heart is available.
But even that gives her mixed emotions.
“It’s very tough to think that another baby will be dying and then he gets a heart,” she said.
As of Friday, Nash was top priority in Canada for a heart transplant of his size.
“Because Nash is our first baby, we don’t have anything to compare it to, like I do know that this is not normal, but this is our normal,” said Balysky.
They’ve spent more time in the hospital than they have out, but they continue to read books, laugh and take pictures, cherishing every moment they have together.
“It has definitely shaded my view of babies because this unit in particular (has) a lot of sick kids–a lot of kids that pass away,” she said.
Regina Honda has supported the family with a donation and video on Facebook to say good luck on Nash’s journey to get a new heart.