At first, baby Agamjot seemed like a healthy, happy newborn.
He was growing well, and his Mom Gurjeet says you would never have known anything was wrong.
Agamjot was born on March 6, 2020 and after a few months, his parents noticed that he was eating less and sleeping more, and making a lot of grunting noises.
Gurjeet made a note of this at his doctor’s appointment when he was three months old.
That same day, Gurjeet and her husband Binder learned that Agamjot’s heart was only functioning at 15%.
“We were shocked, we were numb,” Gurjeet says. “We didn’t know what this means.”
Within twenty-four hours, Gurjeet found herself in an air ambulance flying to Edmonton from Regina with her baby boy, and they haven’t been home since.
“When we got here, we literally did not know what to do or where to eat,” says Gurjeet. “The Ronald McDonald House has become a home for us; it’s our home.”
Two days after arriving in Edmonton, baby Agamjot had surgery to receive a Berlin Heart, which is being used to support his own heart function until a transplant becomes available.
“He’s okay, he’s growing well and is healthy for a heart transplant,” Gurjeet says. “It’s just a waiting game.”
The Singh family – Gurjeet, Binder, their four-year-old daughter Namanpreet, and Gurjeet’s Mom – have all been staying at the Edmonton House since June.
Big sister Namanpreet has loved her time at the House, says Gurjeet. She loves the toys, the books, the staff, the piano, and keeps busy with activities.
“When our friends and family ask us how we are doing, we say it’s hard to be away from home, but not a stress,” Gurjeet says. “We are not working at this time, because we have to take care of both children here, but there are no costs. We are stress-free.”
“In the morning when we wake up, we may be 800 kilometres from home, but we have no worries,” she adds. “We have a roof, food to eat, all the basics covered,” she adds. “If we weren’t here, we’d have to pay for rent, utilities, food. We can totally concentrate on our son and his health.”
“Exchanging our experiences with other families is helpful – at home, mentally it would be different,” she adds. “Here there are people who are just like us, who understand us more than our families and more than our friends could.”
“It’s our world right now – it’s everything at this moment,” she adds. “I don’t even have the words to describe how helpful it is to be living here. It’s a blessing.”