When the worst happened, you were there for Henri

Accidents can happen to anyone. When the worst happens, it’s comforting to know The Children’s is there to help us get through difficult times. Thank you for donating today.

How many times, as parents, do we tell ourselves we narrowly avoided a tragedy? When our child crosses the street without looking, climbs on a shaky piece of furniture or puts something dangerous in their mouth…

Preventable accidents can happen so quickly. Unfortunately, we couldn’t prevent our accident.

Luckily, The Children’s was there, and so were you. You saw my 7-year-old son and our entire family through the ordeal.

That’s why I want to tell you our story.

One April morning, I was helping my daughter get dressed for school, when suddenly, I heard a piercing scream. I raced down the stairs and found Henri sitting there, frozen in place, soaked from his torso to his thighs. A kettle full of scalding water spilled on him while he was making his oatmeal.

We immediately took off his clothes and called 911. But the damage was done. Henri had burns on 30% of his body. His twin brother, Renaud, had burns on his arms.

At The Children’s, Henri was sedated to avoid going into shock. I had to stay at his bedside so he could hear my voice. Meanwhile, Renaud was waiting in the next room.

Imagine how torn I was. I so badly wanted to be with both of my boys!

Henri had deep second-degree burns; every layer of his skin was affected. He underwent three surgeries to remove the dead layers of skin, as well as several skin grafts. The pain was unbearable, and, to make matters worse, my poor Henri did not tolerate morphine well.

Bedridden for three weeks with his body wrapped in bandages, his muscles atrophied to the point that he had to learn to walk again with the help of a physiotherapist.

Back at home, we had to change his oozing bandages, massage the wounds daily to help make the skin more supple, and Henri had to wear compression garments to smooth his scars.

It was difficult for Henri. To him, it all seemed so unfair.

But this mother’s heart really broke when I heard my Henri, mischievous and silly by nature, say: “I don’t really like life.” That’s when I understood the importance and value of being surrounded by caring individuals.

I can never thank you enough for your support.

Through your donations, you allow the Hospital and its specialized personnel to provide the best care possible to children and families like mine, when they need it most.

I’m thinking of Erin, our nurse coordinator in the trauma centre. An angel. After each of Henri’s surgeries and appointments, she checked in for news. We turned to her often for emotional support, mostly for Henri, but for myself as well.

The psychologist, Saskia Ferrar, was a lifesaver in suggesting Henri express his sadness by creating a comic book. When he was able to show it to us, we felt so proud of the progress he had made thanks to the experts at The Children’s, and you who supports them.

From the start, the care team had the idea to involve Renaud in the treatment plan to help Henri heal. Renaud came to the outpatient appointments and those were the rare times I saw my Henri smile.

And what was Henri’s worst memory of the ordeal? The COVID tests! That says a lot about the incredible work of all the personnel who played a role in his healing.

Henri was lucky in his bad luck, as only one scar remains visible. While he still wears compression garments 24 hours a day, he’s bursting with energy and has found his little bratty side again.

How will his skin react as he grows? Will he need more surgeries? Only time will tell. But we know we’re in good hands. Thanks to the teams at The Children’s. Thanks to your donations.

Now, while our family is still dressing our wounds after the ordeal, I hope others can count on your big heart.

Thank you for donating to The Children’s so that other families can access the same incredible care we received.

Henri, Renaud and Marguerite’s mom