A Manitoban family has been uprooted and is currently awaiting a heart for their newborn in Edmonton.
When Janelle and Kurt Kornelson welcomed their daughter Stevie into the world on July 5, everything initially seemed normal.
"Stevie joined our family in a hurry as she came at 37.5 weeks," says Janelle. "We had her in triage, 15 minutes after we arrived at the hospital."
The couple took Stevie home shortly after and the next month was simply a time of adjusting to life with a newborn.
"At one month old, I had an appointment with her at a breastfeeding clinic. They noticed her breathing didn't look quite right," says Janelle.
After spending time at the emergency room and a follow-up appointment with the pediatrician the next day, Stevie was released and said to be healthy all around.
"By the following day I still wasn't comfortable with the way Stevie was looking, so I went back into Emerg and that was when they diagnosed her with dilated cardiomyopathy, after doing an EKG and an ECHO."
As first-time parents, the Kornelson's hadn't heard of any of these terms before this point. It would change their lives drastically.
"The doctors said there was a chance it would heal all on its own, there is a chance she would need oral meds for the rest of her life, or there was a chance that she would need a heart transplant or she would die. Right away as a parent, you feel overwhelmed by that news," she says.
After running tests in Winnipeg, the doctors found out that Stevie's heart was not functioning well so they put her on a constant IV.
"As we learned about the severity of Stevie, there were many tears and days and nights of adjusting," says Kurt. "In Winnipeg, they finally sat us down and realized that moving off to Edmonton we'd get the best care there for her condition and that's where we are."
Once the family was in Edmonton, doctors started assessing to see if Stevie was a viable candidate for a heart transplant. The couple got the news on September 2 that she indeed is. Now it is a waiting game.
"With me being self-employed, it brought worry and caused anxiety in how I was going to provide. We have a house and bills to pay," says Kurt. "I was woken up in the night a few times and God became very audible in our need and desperation. He spoke to me and asked me to trust Him."
The couple has been surrounded by their family, friends, and church community at Soul Sanctuary in Winnipeg. They have set up a GoFundMe page for the family at this time.
"We are so eternally grateful for everyone's prayers and support, both financially and spiritually. We felt we have been carried through all," says Kurt.
The couple have been put up at a hotel right across from the Children's Hospital in Edmonton. The wait for a heart transplant takes between 6 months to a year, typically.
"We know that our God can do miracles so we're always praying for complete healing for Stevie. Please pray for healing overall for Stevie as that's the most important prayer request. Pray for Kurt and I as it's hard to live out of a hotel room and hospital room, and for peace as we wait, and continued hope," says Janelle.
Kurt says that he has seen God's move in their lives throughout Stevie's short life already.
"We've seen her heart stress levels come down," he says. "We've seen things that would cause her a lot of stress, yet we've seen God work miraculously through the doctors hands. That's totally God working in the everyday battle of dealing with a baby with heart failure. I could list a lot more but we've seen little miracles everyday."