Why I "Extra Life"
Originally I started participating in Extra Life just cause I heard about a charity event that helped support my local Children's Hospital by playing video games. I thought "Oh cool! I love video games and it goes towards a good cause! Why not!"
I quickly shared my intentions with my friends and family, it very quickly become more than just a charity event after my mother told me a story about how I was admitted to the Children’s Hospital in Edmonton at 18 months old.
My mother (who I should note is was 7 months pregnant with my younger sister at the time) had taken me to a paediatrician as I was sick, not eating, not drinking, and over all not doing well. The paediatrician took a listen to my chest and said they would be right back, when they came back with a colleague who listened to my chest and said “yup, he’s going in”.
The paediatrician turned to my mother and said they were calling Children’s Hospital of Edmonton and having me immediately admitted stating: "He's a very sick baby and I want you to take him over immediately".
The Children's Hospital of Edmonton was waiting, I was quickly admitted and taken to the paediatric ward. I needed to have blood drawn, a suction, and chest x-rays.
This was only complicated by my lack of food and water due to not feeling well, after at least two attempts with no luck, they stopped and said they needed an expert and called someone from another area of the hospital who was able to draw blood from someplace less commonly used, I can't quite remember where. Once blood was drawn they then did the suction.
After all this I was taken over to x-ray. They had to strap me into this little wooden chair apparatus that kept my arms held straight up in the air and they can have the baby still to get the x-ray.
Normally the parent would stay in the room to help keep the crying baby (yup I was crying) calm but my mother is 7 months pregnant so she had to leave the X-ray room. She said she could hear me crying through the door as she waited in the hallway. She told me how very kind they were to me and brought me still crying and very upset to her as soon as they were done.
I was diagnosed with a serious viral infection in my lungs.
Once all the blood work, suctions, and x-rays were down I was assigned to an isolation room, not allowed to leave the bounds of my room. I was put on oxygen and the staff went even as far to double the length of my oxygen tubes so I could roam. I would be kept in this room for 6 days while my oxygen levels tried to recover. Each night as I slept they would come in to check my oxygen levels and administered Ventolin and/or medication.
The Children's Hospital of Edmonton was that time was a teaching school. My mother smiles about how kind the doctors, the nurses, the staff, the students, and everyone was to me. They were even so kind to go as far as bring her a small TV and VCR so that I could watch cartoons.
After the 6th day my mother was told I was going to be able to be taken off the oxygen. Bedtime was nearing and a nurse came in to my room. She told my mother take me and to follow her where she led both of us to a whirlpool tub room and said to my mother “let him have a real bath tonight” and closed the door.
My stay would be a bit longer but I would get better each day. Eventually I would be moved to another ward and released.
My mother cries each time she tells me this story each time and tells how thankful she is for each staff member, for how they went out of their way for her baby and every baby that comes through their doors.
So why do I do Extra Life?
I do it for the scared parents who are are doing everything they can for their children.
I do it for the countless staff who work around the clock to care not just the children but the scared parents that come through their doors.
I do it for kids like myself who may not remember just how sick they were at one time because places like the Children's Hospital were able to help us get better.
Find attached the pictures of my Extra Life tattoo I got one year as a donation incentive and the remind myself of the awesome things we do.