While most families are enjoying beach time and barbecues, the Hansen family has been through one of the most trying times of their lives.
The family from Armstrong, with three daughters, has a four-year-old with Heterotaxy syndrome.
Kiera Hansen has been at the B.C. Children’s hospital for over six weeks, recovering from her fourth open-heart surgery. Friends and family have been donating to Hansen’s GoFundMe page to help cover lost wages and costs associated with recovery.
“Kiera was basically born with half a heart and it is on the opposite side of her body,” said Shara Mendoza, a friend who’s child shares a similar diagnosis. “What makes her even more unique is that she has an identical twin.”
Heterotaxy syndrome is a rare condition that affects 1 in 250,000 people. It causes organs to be formed on the wrong sides of the body and typically results in heart defects and a missing spleen, amongst other complications.
Hansen has right isomerism, meaning her body created two right-sides internally. This resulted in her heart being on the right side with severe defects. She is also immune-compromised due to a missing spleen.
She recently had a final open-heart surgery and was sent back to Armstrong, only to be air lifted back to BCCH. Her condition is currently stable, but she is still hospitalized.
“We have reached almost 20 per cent of our fundraising goal and are really hopeful that the community will continue to support the Hansen’s by contributing.”
“The strain on her family is tremendous. One parent needs to be with Kiera at all times.The other parent needs to care for Kiera’s sisters, keep the home in order and work. It just isn’t possible to do it all, and Kiera’s dad has had to take a long period off of work,” said Mendoza.
Hansen has a feisty personality and is excited about entering kindergarten with her twin.
To help Hansen visit www.gofundme.com/2ff2v2gs or search Kiera’s Open Heart Recovery Fund on the GoFundMe page. As of July 25 they have raised $1,780 out of $10,000.