Mason's Story

Images captured by Donna Larmour Photography

Mason is a Tiny Light that couldn’t wait to shine.  He was born early at only 33 weeks gestation, but was healthy. He weighed 6lbs 12oz and the doctors were unsure of why he came so early.  It was only 4 days later a clot was discovered in his kidney after his noticed his blood pressure was rising to dangerous levels.  Mason was transferred to the Childrens Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO). At 5 days old during a precautionary ultrasound before starting him on blood thinners, a grade 4 brain hemorrhage was discovered.  Instantly his parents were faced with the fear of the unknown.  Mason was in serious danger of being physically damaged for the rest of his life, being confined to a wheelchair or being in and out of hospitals for his whole life.  The hardest part was that he had two opposite conditions, because of the brain bleed they couldn’t treat his kidneys and his parents were forced to sit and wait and worry about their future.

It was unbearable for Mason’s mom as she sat and feared the worse. A nurse came over to her and told her that she was going to get through this and that what she could do for was to love him, because she was his mother and “no one could love him like she could”. She will never forget that. It made her realize not to take life for granted and to enjoy the little things.  The most amazing thing was watching her baby boy smile throughout it all. Despite everything, all the needles, surgeries and medications they could always see him smile in his sleep.  Most people look at him and have no idea what he's been through. He looks so normal and happy that they have no clue he had it so rough until they see the shunt on the back of his head.  The shunt was necessary due to the hydrocephalus he developed because of the brain bleed. He is an amazingly easy baby and at 6 months he sleeps through the night and only cries when he is hungry or sleepy.  His parents still have many follow ups at CHEO.  He is on blood pressure medication for a little while longer and he will always need to monitor his head to make sure the shunt is still working.  They won’t know for awhile what effect the brain bleed has had on him but the worse case scenario was that he would not be able to work the right side of his body.  Already his parents know this isn’t the case.  He can definitely move all his body and only has a slight dysfunction in his right arm which is steadily improving.  Even though they still worry that he might have some cognitive damages to his brain they are hoping for the best and trying not to live in fear.  As he develops, they may discover more but they are confident that they can handle whatever it is because he is already doing way better than they ever expected. 

Story by Sue Renaud