For six months, Charlie lived in pain and discomfort. He and his parents spent those months searching for answers as to what was causing strange lumps to appear and what was causing pain when he sat down. He started losing weight because eating and digesting food was painful too. When he started getting chills and shaking, his parents decided it was time to go to visit Emergency at the Alberta Children’s Hospital. And they are so glad they did. There, they met a team of experts including Dr. Tito Daodu who suspected his symptoms were related to Crohn’s Disease. He was referred to Pediatric Gastroenterologist Dr. Gary Galante at the GI Clinic who confirmed the diagnosis through an endoscopy and colonoscopy that revealed lesions throughout Charlie’s abdomen and an MRI that showed inflammation of his bowels and fistulas throughout his intestinal tract. After searching for answers for so long, he and his family were relieved to finally have a diagnosis and plan for treatment.
Charlie recently underwent a surgery to remove the abscesses that had formed externally and has began IVIG treatments to treat his inflammation, which he will have every two to three weeks to start. Dominik says to a 16-year-old, a diagnosis like this could seem “apocalyptic”, but what struck him about their incredible team at the Alberta Children’s Hospital was how they explained his condition to him, that it is manageable, and that he could still have a bright future. Charlie now feels confident he can live with the condition thanks to that support and the plan of treatment set out for him. It has been a life-changing experience.
Dominik knows how important community support of the Alberta Children’s Hospital is, especially now during a pandemic. He says while everyone else’s lives have been put on hold, kids like his son are still visiting the Alberta Children’s Hospital in need of life-saving, life-changing care. He and his son are grateful for the care they received at the Alberta Children’s Hospital that gives them the hope he can return to his normal teenage life.
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