P.E.I. family shares personal message of hope

Jim Day
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They were hoping for a miracle, but he was there all along.

His name is Evan Landry.

He came into the world on Nov. 23, 2011.

He was born three months early. He weighed a mere two pounds and 15 ounces.

He emerged in an amniotic sac - a rare occurrence that sees about one in 900,000 babies born in the fluid-filled sac that contains and protects a fetus in the womb.

Tony Landry likened the sac that surrounded his son during birth to a dinosaur egg.

The rarity of the birth, doctors told Tony and his wife Kim, was a sign of good luck.

Indeed, good fortune was in the stars for the couple and their third son.

But at the time, Tony and Kim were immersed in fear more so than embraced by hope.

Evan was born with an infection and an intracranial hemorrhage. And he had been born so premature — so terribly tiny.

Much could go wrong.

Of course, the infant could die - and the first couple of weeks spent at the IWK Health Centre in Halifax were touch and go.

“So terrified,’’ recalls mom.

“What should have been a happy moment,’’ adds dad, “was filled with worry and fear.’’

Tiny Evan was moved to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU for short) at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Charlottetown.

He would stay there for about two months, including his first Christmas.

Kim would make two trips a day to the hospital over that time to spend hours upon hours by her sickly son’s side.

Tony, who worked then as he does now as a medical physicist at the QEH, felt the painfully close presence of Evan as he went about his job.

Whenever he could get a break, he made a beeline to visit his son.

When Evan was finally brought to his Charlottetown home to live with his older brothers Elliot and Isaac, the anxiety was far from over for Kim and Tony.

Doctors cautioned the parents that their youngest son might not develop normally.

Any host of physical and/or mental issues could emerge over the first three years of Evan’s life.

Thankfully, none did.

However, that was a long, long period of worry for the parents. Both say they could not help anticipating with a good deal of dread a bad development.

Christmas Day is just going to be our family of five, so it’s going to be pretty special. Kim Landry

That chapter of fear was closed in a formal way on May 5 when Evan was officially discharged, complete with a balloon-laden certificate, from the perinatal follow-up program of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

In other words, the boy was given a clean bill of health.

“A massive relief,’’ says Tony.

Hindsight, combined with a great outcome, has the couple eager to share a message of hope to others embarking a similarly trying journey, particularly over the holiday season.

Evan’s story of survival is told in a heartwarming video that Tony posted to YouTube on Sunday.

To Evan and his father singing Frosty the Snowman, the boy’s uplifting story is told in short written narrative that appears on the screen along with photos of Evan at his tiniest to his current healthy four-year-old frame.

Snapshots of the whole clan are included for good measure.

The video, prepared by Tony, concludes with the following heartfelt message:

“So if you’re in the NICU this Christmas waiting on a Christmas miracle...just remember...you might be living one right now.’’

Kim and Tony recall trying their best to share, at least on the surface, in the unhindered joy their two healthy boys were displaying on Evan’s first ever Christmas in 2011.

Aged four and three respectively at the time, Elliot and Isaac could not appreciate the precarious state of their little brother that consumed mom and dad.

This Christmas, there will be nothing forced in the deep joy displayed — and felt — by Tony and Kim Landry.

“Christmas Day is just going to be our family of five, so it’s going to be pretty special,’’ says Kim.

Adds Tony: “We’re going to have a normal Christmas.’’



Organizations: Queen Elizabeth Hospital, IWK Health Centre

Geographic location: Charlottetown, Halifax

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  • Joe Doe
    December 24, 2015 - 08:03