One mom says a special event held in Humboldt on April 18 speaks volumes about how much her co-workers care about her.

“This day really showed me, not only as a member of this community but as an employee within the health region, the type of people who work within the Saskatoon Health Region, and just how much they truly care,” said Vanessa Lockhart, who works for Public Health in Humboldt.

Lockhart’s son, Jayden, now aged 4, was diagnosed with Severe Hemophilia Type A when he was a newborn after a bleeding episode that lasted days. In support of World Hemophilia Day on April 17, Lockhart and her son wanted to raise awareness within the Humboldt community.

RR-2016-05-04-hemophilia-day-Humboldt338

Vanessa Lockhart and her son, Jayden, now aged 4, set up a display table at the Humboldt District Health Complex on April 18 using informational resources from Hemophilia Saskatchewan.

Using informational resources from Hemophilia Saskatchewan, the Lockharts set up a display table at the Humboldt District Health Complex on April 18.

“Jayden and I gave out information on inherited bleeding disorders and red and white cupcakes to patients and staff.” Lockhart said. Staff were asked to help show their support by wearing red to work and encouraged to make a donation towards Hemophilia Saskatchewan.

Back Row:  Stacy Dietrick, Laurie Brad Richards, Ellen Kachur, Monique Bollefer, Allison Eichorst Middle Row:  Lorna Schreiner, Karen Siermachesky, Leona Messmer, Carrie Ebner, Terry Bauer, Erin Plamondon-Braun, Della Thiemann, Sherry Gursky Front Row:  Angie Tuchscherer, Gail Giddings, Brittany Holland, Jayden and Vanessa Lockhart, Janice Tremblay

Back Row:  Stacy Dietrick, Laurie Brad Richards, Ellen Kachur, Monique Bollefer, Allison Eichorst. Middle Row:  Lorna Schreiner, Karen Siermachesky, Leona Messmer, Carrie Ebner, Terry Bauer, Erin Plamondon-Braun, Della Thiemann, Sherry Gursky. Front Row:  Angie Tuchscherer, Gail Giddings, Brittany Holland, Jayden and Vanessa Lockhart, Janice Tremblay

Jayden was able to raise a total of $267.75 for Hemophilia Saskatchewan through his efforts.

“All the help and support we received just goes to show how many incredible staff this region has working for them and how they truly care about their patients and community,” she added.

Hemophilia is a rare inherited bleeding disorder where the blood is unable to clot normally. The body lacks the ability to produce a certain blood protein (Factor VIII in type A and Factor IX in Type B) which is necessary for your blood to clot. Hemophilia can vary in severity from mild, moderate to severe, depending on the amount of factor the person’s body can produce.

“Many people think that hemophilia means a person just bleeds more than the average person, but that is so wrong,” said Lockhart. “With hemophilia, you bleed much longer and it’s generally internally, into joints, muscles and potentially organs. This can happen from a simple trip or fall, trauma to the body or just be spontaneous bleed.

Hemophilia is an inherited condition that is passed down on the X chromosome, however, in some rarer cases; it can be caused by a spontaneous mutation where the family has no prior history, which is what happened in Jayden’s case.

“Since it wasn’t in our family history, the diagnosis was a complete shock to us, not to mention as young, first-time parents,” Lockhart said. “We were terrified for what this meant for our infant son’s future. But we were immediately referred to the Saskatchewan Bleeding Disorders Program (SBDP) at Royal University Hospital (RUH), where we met the most incredible team of healthcare providers. We met with each member of the team – a pediatric hematologist, bleeding disorders nurse, social worker, physiotherapist, and genetic counsellor, and gained so much valuable information. This is where I learned that I had a spontaneous mutation that caused me to be carrier for this condition and had passed this on to my son.”

At two, Jayden had surgery at RUH to have a port placed in his chest where his parents give him his prophylaxis three times a week at home.

“It helps to prevent and control bleeding episodes and gives our son freedom from constant ER trips,” Lockhart said.

Because of the medical products available and the very knowledgeable medical team he has, Jayden leads a very normal, happy and active life, participating in sports and activities like soccer, gymnastics, swimming, skating, and T-ball.

“Hemophilia is such a large part of our family, but we don’t let it define us,” Lockhart said. “We are aware of it and just try to help educate others whenever the opportunity presents itself.”

Lockhart said it was the team at the Saskatchewan Bleeding Disorders Program who were the reason she decided to go back to school and take Office Education so she could work within Saskatoon Health Region.

“From the sheer amount of care, compassion and unconditional support the staff at SBDP has shown our son and family it really made me think ‘Wow this must be a pretty incredible organization to be a part of and what a difference it makes to others’,” she said.

Lockhart has worked casually for two years at the Humboldt District Health Complex as an administrative assistant in Community Health Services.

“And I love it,” she said.

Also through the Saskatchewan Bleeding Disorders Program, she was introduced to Hemophilia Saskatchewan a non-profit organization committed to improving medical treatment, education, and support for persons living in Saskatchewan with hemophilia and other inherited bleeding disorders. She joined their board of directors in 2012 looking to contribute to improving educational resources and be a support for other parents and families.

Hemophilia Saskatchewan is a chapter of the Canadian Hemophilia Society. For more information, check out http://www.hemophiliask.ca