Donor Story: The Verscheures

My daughter Ava turned six this past December and when I gave her a few options of where to donate half her birthday money, she chose Intensive Care at Victoria General Hospital. This is the letter we wrote:

 Dear Hospitals Foundation,

My name is Ava Verscheure and I turned six on December 22nd, 2012.

For my birthday, I asked for half of my proceeds to go to the I.C.U. at Victoria General Hospital.

The surgeon and staff there saved my Gramma’s life when she was brought in after suffering a ruptured aneurysm on December 7th, 2012.

They told my family in Emergency that Gramma wouldn’t make it but thanks to the belief of the staff and doctors, and because of their excellent care, my Gramma is still alive.

Thank you for saving her life.

Love Ava

My name is Jen Verscheure and Ava’s grandma is my beautiful mom, Judy Smith.

At a very young 69 years of age, my mom had lived an active and happy life full of giving unconditionally to family and friends and volunteering in her community.

In December 2012, her life came to an abrupt standstill when she was found unconscious on her bathroom floor. She was rushed to Victoria General Hospital by ambulance where she was diagnosed with a stage five ruptured aneurysm. We were told in Emergency that it was very unlikely she would live.

It was four a.m. when mom’s nurse, Annie, gently woke me in the Intensive Care waiting room.  By this time Dr. Stephen Hentschel and his team had performed almost four hours of brain surgery. I will never forget the sound of Annie’s voice: “You might want to come in…your mom’s opened her eyes.”

How can I describe the excitement of walking down the hall knowing I would soon meet the eyes of my mother…something I was told would likely never happen again. When I entered the room her eyes lit up and I felt my heart simultaneously fold in on itself with relief and explode with joy.

Our family is endlessly grateful to the surgical team who worked to save my mom’s life despite the odds.

My husband Eric and I work hard to teach our kids about what it means to give.

Our whole family gives to causes that are meaningful to us, including our 8-year-old daughter Emily who has fundraised door-to-door. This winter, our youngest, Ava, was given the opportunity to thank the people who saved her gramma’s life. What could be more meaningful than giving surgeons like Dr. Hentschel the tools they need to work miracles for families like ours?

A Note from VHF:

Thank you to the Verscheure family for a heartfelt story! The Verscheures would like to thank everyone in the Emergency Room, Intensive Care, 6A Recovery, 5 North Rehabilitation and all the doctors and nurses who went above and beyond.